Yes, I agree, Debera. WiFi is essential. I just was with a friend who is living in a house quite outside the center of her town and couldn't find an Internet provider for six months. She just received her WiFi service when I was visiting and it was like Christmas morning for her; she was so excited. So I think WiFi should be ubiquitous.
Elizebeth, I totally agree with you that sometimes you need a break from all these technologies especially internet and smart fones to give our minds rest but then we cant argue on the fact that WIFI is now not the luxury but it is the necessity of life . We should have acces to wifi and i really liked the idea however by not using it we can give ourselves the break .
Yes, Davek3gau, I know I have options to tune things out if I want to. It's just so tempting sometimes to be always on, if you know what I mean. I do probably need to use that off switch a lot more often than I do! Thanks for the reminder.
"MDIF would include streaming news and information (both international and local), applications and content (including Ubuntu, OpenStreetMap, and Wikipedia), educational courseware, and emergency communications."
How does it all get paid for? I would think it would be through advertsing - ads embedded in the content that has access to a global audience would be enticing to many companies.
Indeed. Link budget, round-trip delay time, antenna pattern (WiFi antennas aren't generally going to be directing much power upward - it's a waste most of the time), data rate, Doppler shift, ground track served by one microsat and number of subscribers in it, power available to the sat for transmitter, number of satellites needed and orbital tracks (are the poles, sub-Saharan Africa, and all of Asia covered, as they are for Iridium but not for Globalstar?), satellite orbital decay or graveyard orbits for so many sats, ..., the list of difficulties in doing what it appears they're claiming to do goes on and on. In the absence of facts, some skepticism is called for.
To be generous, when they say WiFi, perhaps they mean "WiFi" in a non-literal sense -- some wireless networking method. But calling it WiFi carries compatibility, data rate, coverage, and range implications that are at best misleading and at worst dishonest.
Cabe--It seems as though the barriers, both technical and legal, are significant but I certainly do think the system would be marvelous if brought to fruition. I feel confident that with the advent of the Internet and social media we have a world in which countries are no longer satisfied with governmental status quo. I think the Arab Spring proves that point. Is there any feel for the cost of this effort? Has to be millions if not billions. Excellent post.
I ahve read about this initiative in several sources and it's obvious the financial guys have not hired any engineers yet. Based on a rough link budget, a LEO satellite would need an EIRP of about 4,000 Watts to be heard by a typical WiFi device on earth. That's allot of power for a big satellite and nearly impossible for a small satellite. The other problem is going to be doppler shift. A satellite in LEO is travelling around 17,000 MPH so the frequency change during the pass will be significant at 2.4 GHz, I doubt standard WiFi receivers will cope well with this. Satellites in LEO orbit are only visible for about 10 minutes a pass, even occasional access will require quite a few satellites. This project is a data broadcast only scnario, so the you still need some other means to send data back into the net. This are just a few of the technical problems. Using satellites to bypass national laws will not be tolerated under international laws and treaties. The satellite operator will find his license revoked and probably fined by the issuing authority. Space is not the "wild west", there are laws and regulations that do apply even if some are voluntary. The only waythis half baked scheme has a chance of working is if the satellites transmit to specially equipped gound stations that feed traditional WiFi access points for local distribution. This whole thing looks like a way for some financial "speculaotrs" to raise lots of money off of unknowing investors in order to skim off fees and expenses.
Cabe, I was suprised to see the UK included next to North Korea and China in your list of the "bad boys" of internet censorship. I'd suggest this page for a better ranking of canditates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship#Internet.
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