Despite living in a society centered around technology, 57% of the world’s population is still offline. The UN’s goal of dropping that percentage to 50% has been met with great difficulty due to its costs and technological needs. Four large companies are attempting to provide worldwide Internet access by employing space technologies: OneWeb intends to launch over 600 mini-satellites to beam down high speed Internet, SpaceX will put 4000 into orbit, Google plans to use solar powered balloons, and Facebook’s Aquila will broadcast airplane covered in solar panels that employs lasers. These ideas, while relatively new and still in various stages of development, testing, and implementation, serve as necessary first steps to providing Internet accessibility to everyone around the globe.
Contributor: Katie Sun