Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Outernet, free wifi for all

A group of engineers, developers and support staff are looking to release "CubeSat" satellites sometimes in June of 2015.

These satellites will broadcast free wifi, and will allow you to use things like:

News and Information

    International and local news
    Crop prices for farmers
    Bitcoin blockchains

Applications and Content

    Ubuntu & OpenStreetMap
    Wikipedia in its entirety
    Movies, music, games

Educational Courseware

    Khan Academy and Coursera
    British Council's LearnEnglish
    Teachers Without Borders

Emergency Communications

    Used when cellular networks fail
    Disaster relief coordination
    Global notification system

All of this will be free to the public to use,

One of the main reasons why the group is determined to accomplish this, is an article in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights", Article 19 which states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

The Outernet group's official website has this to say about their goal:

"By leveraging datacasting technology over a low-cost satellite constellation, Outernet is able to bypass censorship, ensure privacy, and offer a universally-accessible information service at no cost to global citizens. It's the modern version of shortwave radio, or BitTorrent from space." -

I love this idea. According to Outernet, only 60% of the world have access to the content available on the Internet. They want that to be 100%.

These CubeSats definetly resemble their name, here's a peek at what they look like:

And here's what they will look like from space:

As you can tell, these satellites are not very big. Which will make them much cheaper to maintain. (In my opinion)

Here's what the Outernet group has to say about these interesting satellites and the network they will work on:

"Outernet consists of a constellation of hundreds of low-cost, miniature satellites in Low Earth Orbit. Each satellite receives data streams from a network of ground stations and transmits that data in a continuous loop until new content is received. In order to serve the widest possible global audience, the entire constellation utilizes UDP-based multicasting over WiFi. Although still not common, WiFi multicasting is a proven technology, especially when the data requires only one hop to reach the recipient.

150 satellites deliver various content to WiFi-enabled devices on Earth's surface

Citizens from all over the world, through SMS and feature-phone apps, participate in building the information priority list. Users of Outernet's website also make suggestions for content to broadcast; lack of an Internet connection should not prevent anyone from learning about current events, trending topics, and innovative ideas. " -

Outernet is asking for the public's help, with spreading this information and with donations to help the project.

If you would like to do either, check the bottom of for more information.

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