We’re on the verge of being virtually connected to every person in the whole world who has a $200 laptop or a $50 smartphone or better.
Private companies Google and Facebook are funneling capital into satellite networks to bring the Internet to millions now utterly without it. Reporters call their competition a “space race.” Google will spend between one and three billion dollars on 180 small low-earth-orbit satellites. Facebook’s game plan entails higher, geosynchronous orbits.
Google estimates that “two thirds of the world have no [Internet] access at all. It’s why we’re so focused on new technologies … that [can] bring hundreds of millions more people online….”
Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds thinks that Google’s satellites will also make governmental spying and censorship harder, a suggestion readers hotly dispute. In any case, major cyber-companies have been paying much more attention to plugging security holes in their systems in the wake of the Snowden revelations.
What’s indisputable is that dramatically more widespread Internet access will enable a great many people who currently lack that access to enjoy radical new means of knowledge and trade.
The Internet abets everything from communication to scholarship to publishing to broadcasting to stock trading to finding new customers and even new loves. This cyber wealth will be enriched by the contributions of the new surfers of the web. We can also expect the satellite technology backed by Google and Facebook to give us both higher Internet speeds and lower Internet costs.
Globalization is good.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.