February 21, 2009

Internet for the other 3 billion people in the world

In this recent posting, I referred to statistics showing that relatively few people in, for example, Africa, have access to the Internet. Reading this Global Strategy Institute posting, I learned that an incredible 3 billion people around the world, i.e. a little less than half of the world’s population, are without Internet.

The company O3b intends to change that. O3b, short for the “other 3 billion” - the number of people without access to the internet, plans to launch its own satellites into space that will provide low cost broadband access to people in the developing world. Reading the Global Strategy Institute posting, I also noticed that O3b has already met some success - despite the fact that its satellites won’t launch into orbit until 2010. It has signed major contracts with internet service providers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa and Guyana, South America and is hoping to make major inroads into island nations in the Pacific and the Caribbean that would enjoy higher bandwidths due to their remote locations.

Have a look at this 1½ minute CNN video to find out more:

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