Google is exploring all avenues in bringing Internet access to underserved countries and communities, with the search giant now reportedly mulling setting up a network of satellites to bring access to the world.
The project is being led by Greg Wyler, founder of satellite startup O3b Networks Ltd., who recently joined Google with O3b's former chief technology officer, the WSJ reports.
Google is already examining other methods of bringing the Internet cheaply to areas that are hard to wire up or serve with traditional mobile connections. It has "Project Loon," an attempt to use high-altitude balloons to provide wireless connectivity from the sky. In April, Google acquired Titan Aerospace, which is building solar-powered drones to provide similar connectivity. (See Broadband: It's All Hot Air for Google.)
Both Google and Facebook are exploring new methods of delivering the Internet to new users in under-developed markets. The logic behind some of these whacky-seeming projects is that these companies will feel the bottom-line benefit -- from ad-serving revenue -- if they can get Internet access to into the hands of more of the world's population.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading