Space Internet Has Already Reached Earth

O3b Networks lacks the hype and globe-spanning ambitions of its rivals, but it already has 12 satellites beaming high-speed Internet access to the planet

Searching for a network signal on the plains of Somalia. O3b focuses its space Internet venture on equatorial regions.

Photogapher: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

We’ve been told that the space Internet will arrive soon, courtesy of Elon Musk’s SpaceX or a rival effort from Greg Wyler's OneWeb. Both companies intend to surround earth with thousands of satellites positioned in relatively low orbits. Those satellites will beam the Internet down from the heavens and give all people—not just those in well-connected cities—high-speed access to the Web. OneWeb believes this space Internet should arrive by 2019; Musk’s SpaceX would hypothetically deliver a similar service around the same time. 

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