Mary Reichert, Sarah Weinsberg, Jason Lining discussed on The World and Everything In It
Good morning. i'm and i'm mary reichert. First up broadband technology the infrastructure bill. Working its way through. Congress includes sixty five billion dollars to bring broadband internet access to rural areas. Much of that money is likely to go toward installing a physical network electric lines and underground cables. But that's expensive and not always practical. So what's the alternative world sarah weinsberg reports jason lining Thought living near a city meant having fast internet. His home is six miles outside springfield missouri. Being that close to a city of one hundred sixty thousand. You'd think that you'd have internet. But when we arrived here it was like going back to dialup. Lining has tried three different solutions. Phone line or dsl. Internet satellite internet and now to cell phone hotspots when there's high call volume or like from three to seven o'clock at night you know. They really drop off. In their sense of productivity and capacity millions of americans and three billion people around the world have a similar story they all lack access to high speed internet or broadband of any kind that increasingly hinders economic development education and communication but some companies are coming up with creative solutions that has consumers like jason lining excited. Yeah so like. Isn't you on mosque. Putting up all those little satellites elon musk's entrepreneurial project called starlink. It's made up of thousands of satellites hovering close to the earth. Beaming the internet to homes eventually starlink plans to launch forty two thousand ellios or low earth orbiting satellites traditional communication satellites travel about twenty two thousand miles above the earth surface. Elliot's hover as low as three hundred. Miles jeffery wesseling studies technology and innovation at the street institute he says bringing satellites closer to the earth could eliminate major issues with current satellite internet time delays and signal interference. The turkey thing for satellites has always been latency right the low-earth orbital side of it tries to fix that by by shortening the signal legs because the satellites are closer it takes less time for a signal to travel to a router that also means less possibility for signal disturbance wesseling and other tech analysts say starlings technology has big potential. Radio waves can travel quicker through the vacuum of space than infrared. Light waves can move through fiber optic cables so elliott satellites could eventually rival or even beat the fastest ground-based networks. But right now the service can cost more than many people. Pay for wired internet you know. The materials are expensive technology's expensive for development so like they. They cost a lot to recoup the cost of just the manufacturing them so expect. Those costs will come down. I've talked to satellite folks. Who who think they're gonna continue to be able to lower. Those prices are optimistic about it. So the only tech titan banking on satellite technology last year the federal communications commission gave amazon permission to launch. Its own leo. Satellite constellation called project kuyper but some analysts say ellios still have to prove their worth. Josh koenig is the co founder of pantheon a software and web services platform satellite has to like ricochet signal around. And get it back down to the ground somewhere that actually can start to introduce an amount of lag that people will notice hypothetically from the laws of physics. It's totally possible to do. But it's complicated. Koenig and jeffrey wesseling at our street say there are other internet innovations. That could connect hard to reach places. One of those internet balloons. You're going to have a radio up in up above and then you'll be able to send the signal down to to a community. That's that's within the range of that. Internet balloons act as floating cell phone towers hovering twelve miles up in the sky. Google was one of the first companies to develop them. It launched what it calls project. Loon in twenty eleven google envisioned. It's balloons providing internet to rural places as well as disaster areas after hurricane. Maria hit puerto rico. In two thousand seventeen google's balloons provided internet access for one hundred thousand people on the island. Then in twenty twenty. It's balloon started servicing kenya but earlier this year google announced it was abandoning the project. It said the balloons cost too much to maintain it. Also noted. many people in poor countries can't afford the equipment needed to connect to the internet. Our streets jeffrey. Wesseling says that doesn't mean. Internet balloons are gone forever for now just might be better in specific situations but do think they've got a lot of applications for like emergency usage and then getting temporary coverage out there to to rural areas that maybe are hit by a disaster. Can't get connected so five g. cell phone networks are also giving rural internet users. Hope the network eventually promises to provide lightning fast loading speeds that will make using data and spots on phones. Better than ever. Pantheon's josh koenig says the technology is coming out just as more americans than ever surf.