A Startup Wants to Launch Over 700 Satellites to Bring Internet to Rural Areas

The U.N. has deemed internet access a basic human right.

6. 27. 17 by Chelsea Gohd
OneWeb
Image by OneWeb

Beaming the Internet

A satellite internet startup called OneWeb wants to make internet access available to all. From rural neighborhoods to completely remote communities, the company want to make sure that the internet isn’t just a luxury afforded to those who live in certain locations. Thanks in part to backing from Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, as well as Airbus and Qualcomm, OneWeb hopes to launch 720 satellites that would provide internet to places on Earth that are normally far out of reach.

And, in a great step forward in this ambitious goal, the startup has officially received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to begin this work for rural areas in the United States.

So, while this won’t immediately provide internet access for all Earthly inhabitants, it’s a major start. Looking ahead, OneWeb intends to provide access for “every connected school” by 2022.

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Major Steps Forward

According to the United Nations, internet access is a basic human right. We are lightyears beyond the age where it was considered a futuristic luxury. The internet is now how we are educated, shop, keep up with current events, communicate with family members, find resources, and much more. In fact, some predict that relatively soon, online education could become much more commonplace. This would allow those in impoverished areas or who are unable to attend school traditionally to complete their education.

While necessities as basic as water are still not available to all, improving internet access remains an important concern. Aside from companies like OneWeb, other big names in tech, like Elon Musk are committed to ensuring internet access, and the boundless educational opportunities that come with it, will one day available to all.


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