Google has been focused on Internet access in remote parts of the World for a while now, the company, along with Facebook and some other tech giants, to bring the other two thirds of the World onto the Internet.
Previously, Google had invested in Project Loon, a balloon Internet moonshot being worked on. The satellite investment appears to be a short-term solution and an easier way to scale the Internet access to millions of people, without worrying on the success of the balloons.
Larry Page, the CEO of Google, previously claimed Project Loon offers significant price advantages to typical satellites and might be able to offer better Internet access to remote parts of the World. The satellite price has been dropped in the past few years however, leading Google to acquire multiple satellite companies in the past year.
The investment will be for 180 small, high capacity satellites that will reach remote parts of the World. This investment will not cover the World, but perhaps Google’s analysis of the World will spot places that want and can pay for Internet at a cheap price, but don’t have a provider.
Google is not the first company to look at satellites as a way to connect the world, plenty of startups and big companies have invested billions into the project, but the price of satellites and maintenance, alongside vaulting markets wrong, has lead to them losing billions trying to get Internet to remote parts of the world.
Even though Google is looking to invest $1 billion, analysts say that price could shoot up to $20 billion if they keep going on the project. Alongside Project Loon, this could become one of Google’s most funded projects to date and if they cannot manage to get new users on the Internet, it will all be for nothing.
Google will make revenue back mostly from having the users on the Internet, research suggests places with Internet grow substantially quicker, offering better resources and better meaning of life. This could lead to richer areas and in turn to richer users, richer users are more likely to look at ads and pay for things through the Internet.