According to the Wall Street Journal, Google “plans to spend more than $1 billion on a fleet of satellites to extend Internet access to unwired regions of the globe, people familiar with the project said, hoping to overcome financial and technical problems that thwarted previous efforts.”1 According to the Journal, although the plan is far from cemented, it looks like Google’s satellite fleet will start with, “180 small, high-capacity satellites orbiting the earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites, and then could expand.”2 The project is currently budgeted somewhere between $1 and $3 billion, but the cost could go up significantly shoulf the company decide to launch more than 180 satellites.

Back in April, Google acquired Titan Aerospace. We speculated that, “Google may have acquired Titan Aerospace to serve more as a phase II to their Project Loon.” While this still holds up, it looks as if the satellite project is under Project Loon as well:

Google’s efforts to deliver Internet service to unserved regions—through balloons, drones and satellites—are consistent with its approaches to other new markets. Even if one or more projects don’t succeed, Google can often use what it learned in other areas.3

Jeremy Rose, of Comsys -a London-based satellite consulting firm – noted that should Google succeed, it “could amount to a sea change in the way people will get access to the Internet, from the Third World to even some suburban areas of the U.S.” 4 Google is no strange to moonshots, and it appears that this is just the latest.

  1. Alistair Barr and Andy Pasztor, The Wall Street Journal, “Google Invests in Satellites to Spread Internet Access,” 1 June 2014  
  2. Ibid  
  3. Alistair Barr and Andy Pasztor, The Wall Street Journal, “Google Invests in Satellites to Spread Internet Access,” 1 June 2014  
  4. Ibid