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This article was published on May 28, 2014

Google and Facebook reportedly looking beyond hot-air balloons and begin investigating satellites

Google and Facebook reportedly looking beyond hot-air balloons and begin investigating satellites Image by: Adam Berry
Roberto Baldwin
Story by

Roberto Baldwin

Roberto Baldwin was a reporter for The Next Web in San Francisco between April 2014 and March 2015. Roberto Baldwin was a reporter for The Next Web in San Francisco between April 2014 and March 2015.

Not happy with just offering fiber-optic internet access in select cities, Google — and Facebook to a lesser extent — are investigating satellites as a way to deliver internet access according to The Information’s sources close to the situation who would not speak for the record.

Among the evidence the article cites for this conclusion is Google’s recent hiring of Brian Holtz and Dave Bettinger. Both came from companies (O3b and VT iDirect respectively) that specialize in communication satellites. Google has also invested in O3b and a current Google employee sits on company’s board.

A Boeing representative told The Information that Facebook and Google are “beginning to show a broader interest in satellite technology.” While both companies are looking to space to broaden their reach, the ad-supported Google has the potential resources (cash) and gumption to actually follow through in the immediate future.

Both companies could potentially leapfrog ISPs to deliver their own internet access from space to both metropolitan areas for city-wide Wi-Fi and remote areas without access to traditional hard-wired internet.

Image credit: AFP/Getty Images