A New York-based nonprofit sees the access to information through the Internet as a human right. But with global Internet penetration only around one-third
, there are a lot of people who aren't able to access the vast amount of information available online.
The project, known as Outernet, will deploy a network of small satellites that will allow anyone in the world with a Wi-Fi enabled device, including mobile phones, to receive select Internet data for free.
"Outernet will bypass censorship, ensure privacy and offer worldwide access to information to everyone, including those who today are beyond the geographic reach of the internet or can’t afford it," said MDIF CEO Harlan Mandel, in a press release
In addition to being able to see information previously restricted by governments or poor infrastructure, the network can be useful during disasters to transmit public service announcements, when other forms of communication are offline.
The one catch, according to Phys.org
, is that the satellites will only broadcast the information one-way
, for now. That means that users won't be able to interact with the websites in the way they're intended, making the service less useful than a two-way connection. That could come later on with more funding.
But Project Outernet isn't the only one with aspirations to bring Internet to parts of the world without it.
Google's Project Loon
has similar ambitions, but with balloons instead of satellites. And
Facebook's Internet.org project
is bringing together tech companies and telecoms to improve global Internet access.
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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com