The digital age means that just about every week we hear about more innovations that are allegedly right around the corner. Of course, too often we never see these amazing technologies we’re promised. However, Elon Musk has built a reputation on following through when it comes to bold claims. That’s why so many are excited about his most recent announcement: that micro-satellites will soon provide the Internet to the world at a much lower rate.
It was on November 10th when Musk sent out a tweet that announced his SpaceX program was building micro-satellites capable of operating in formations large enough to then offer the Internet, in unfettered access, at an incredibly low cost.
To clarify, SpaceX is a startup from the same man who also brought us the Tesla electric car. His newest venture has him focused on space travel being made possible for the masses, much like Richard Branson is doing with his Virgin Galactic brand.
That was always the story, anyway. However, now Musk has made it clear he wishes to expand on his space property by also revolutionizing Internet access.
Separating Rumor from Speculation
This all sounds amazing, of course, but it’s important to appreciate how much of this is merely speculation at the moment. Musk was quick to clarify his earlier twee that a recent Wall Street Journal article about SpaceX got a lot of important points wrong. He didn’t, however, say what exactly those points were, which leaves the rest of us in limbo about how SpaceX will actually work.
For now, we unfortunately just need to sit and wait until Musk is ready to let us in on his secret. According to him, this could be January or February. However, he never went back on his confirmation that his SpaceX program will help make the Internet more available throughout the planet with no ceiling at a much lower price.
How Will This Change Things?
To many, this announcement may not seem like a huge deal. We’ve seen the Internet change many times, in terms of how it’s provided to customers, so, to some degree, many of us have become numb to this kind of announcement.
We’ve seen dialup become wireless, we’ve watched broadband emerge, etc. Now most of rely on Wifi when we’re home and now even when we’re on the road.
However, what SpaceX’s 700 satellites could do is truly mind-boggling. Each one would be so small, it’s reported to weigh less than 250 pounds. With a price tag believed to be about a billion apiece, though, you can bet Musk isn’t sending these into space without a plan.
Not to overly speculate though, but satellites like this could potentially make Wi-Fi accessible no matter where you are. That would mean high-speed Internet if you’re at home, on the road or even in the middle of the arctic.
It’s hard to believe this kind of innovation wouldn’t come with a lot of red tape, but Musk has shown with Tesla that he won’t let bureaucracy stand in his way.