Amazon has moved way beyond the bookstore it once was and now has expanded to cover science fiction sounding concepts like drone-based deliveries and flying warehouses. The latest and biggest goal is emerging and could potentially redirect the world’s access to the internet.
Geek Wire spotted the blueprint where Amazon is planning to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites into low-Earth orbit to provide internet access to underserved communities around the planet. The plan is being called “Project Kulper” and the filings were made with the International Telecommunication Union, an agency within the United Nations that is responsible for issues including satellite orbits.
95 percent of the Earth’s population would be covered by this plan. To accomplish this the satellites will be launched at three different altitudes. 784 satellites will be placed at a height of 367 miles, 1,296 more at 379 miles, and 1.156 more at 391 miles. This seems like a stretch but it is very likely that the company already has many of the pieces in place to start the process.
This long-term project will provide low-latency, high speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world. Project Kulper would serve tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. No one knows when this project will take flight but the fact that Bezos is the founder of spaceflight company Blue Origin, it would seem likely that the company already has most of the pieces in place.
This is a pretty large venture even for one of the world’s biggest tech companies. While some people may not see the importance or the reason for the move to bring internet to these areas, however, it’s worth remembering that accomplishing this will make Amazon accessible to more people than ever. Amazon already has over 100 million subscribers to Amazon Prime in the US alone. That is remarkable but when you compare that number to the Earth’s population of 7.53 billion, there’s still a whole world out there that’s untouched.