Facebook and Google won’t launch Internet-satellites after all

Remember a few months ago when it was reported that both Facebook and Google were working on low-earth orbit satellites that would be able to bring affordable Internet access to potentially billions of people? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Both companies recently abandoned their ambitious projects, according to a report from the Information, with Facebook cancelling due to concerns about the returns of such a project. 

Who wasn’t excited to see Facebook and Google battle for dominance of low-earth orbit? Alas, it wasn’t meant to be: both companies are shelving their ambitious plans for satellite internet. The tech-news site The Information reports that Facebook is dropping its plans for a geo-stationary satellite over concerns that it will not recoup costs. Google, which hired satellite entrepreneur Greg Wyler to prepare an satellite constellation in 2014, backed out of that plan earlier this year. To which satellite experts might say: We told you so. Ambitious satellite-internet projects have a history of failure. Satellite-internet services today are fairly expensive, and offer slow data speeds. While Facebook’s cancelled project comes from the more traditional approach to satellite internet, the current hope of Wyler and other satellite entrepreneurs is that constellations made up of many small satellites could solve those two problems. They would offer faster service, since they are closer to earth than the typical communication satellites, which fly at high altitudes to maximize coverage; and they would cost less, since tiny satellites are typically less expensive than their larger siblings.

By Jesseb Shiloh

+Jesseb Shiloh is new to blogging. He enjoys things that most don't and dismisses society as an unfortunate distraction. Find him on WeHeartWorld, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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