Friday, February 7, 2014

The Outernet - Free Internet from Space

Source - DailyMail.co.uk
PUBLISHED: 09:24 EST, 5 February 2014 | UPDATED: 09:49 EST, 5 February 2014


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You might think you have to pay through the nose at the moment to access the Internet.

But one ambitious organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age of online computing on its head by giving free web access to every person on Earth.

Known as Outernet, MDIF plans to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit by 2015.

And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including China and North Korea.



The New York company plans to ask NASA to test their Outernet technology on the International Space Station (above) so that they can begin broadcasting Wi-Fi to web users around the world.

Using something known as datacasting technology, which involves sending data over wide radio waves, the New York-based company says they'll be able to broadcast the Internet around the world.

The group is hoping to raise tens of millions of dollars in donations to get the project on the road.

    The Outernet team claim that only 60% of the world's population currently have access to the wealth of knowledge that can be found on the Internet.

    This is because, despite a wide spread of Wi-FI devices across the globe, many countries are unable or unwilling to provide people with the infrastructure needed to access the web.

    The Outernet project is aiming to raise tens of millions of dollars to launch hundreds of miniature satellites known as cubesats to make their dream a reality
    The Outernet project is aiming to raise tens of millions of dollars to launch hundreds of miniature satellites known as cubesats to make their dream a reality

    The company's plan is to launch hundreds of low-cost miniature satellites, known as cubesats, into low Earth orbit.

    Here, each satellite will receive data from a network of ground stations across the globe.

    Using a technique known as User Datagram Protocol (UDP) multitasking, which is the sharing of data between users on a network, Outernet will beam information to users.

    Much like how you receive a signal on your television and flick through channels, Outernet will broadcast the Internet to you and allow you to flick through certain websites.

    THE OUTERNET PROJECT TIMELINE

    By June of this year the Outernet project aims to begin deploying prototype satellites to test their technology
    In September 2014 they will make a request to NASA to test their technology on the International Space Station
    By early 2015 they intend to begin manufacturing and launching their satellites
    And in June 2015 the company says they will begin broadcasting the Outernet from space
    'We have a very solid understand of the costs involved, as well as experience working on numerous spacecraft,' said Project Lead of Outernet Syed Karim, who fielded some questions on Reddit.

    'There isn't a lot of raw research that is being done here; much of what is being described has already been proven by other small satellite programs and experiments.

    There's really nothing that is technically impossible to this'

    But at the prospect of telecoms operators trying to shut the project down before it gets off the ground, Karim said: 'We will fight... and win.'

    If everything goes to plan, the Outernet project aims to ask NASA for permission to test the technology on the International Space Station.

    And their ultimate goal will be to beginning deploying the Outernet satellites into Earth orbit, which they say can begin in June 2015.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2552177/Forget-Internet-soon-OUTERNET-Company-plans-beam-free-wi-fi-person-Earth-space.html#ixzz2seHR1nRz 



    From Outernet.is:




    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.
    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. — Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    WHAT PROBLEM IS OUTERNET SOLVING?

    There are more WiFi devices in the world than people, yet only 60% of the global population has access to the wealth of knowledge found on the Internet. The price of smartphones and tablets is dropping year after year, but the price of data in many parts of the world continues to be unaffordable for the majority of global citizens. In some places, such as rural areas and remote regions, cell towers and Internet cables simply don't exist. The primary objective of the Outernet is to bridge this global information divide.
    Outernet connects everyone around the globe.
    Broadcasting data allows citizens to reduce their reliance on costly Internet data plans in places where monthly fees are too expensive for average citizens. Offering continuously updated web content also bypasses censorship of the Internet in countries that restrict access to independent media. Additionally, Outernet will offer a humanitarian notification system during emergencies and two-way Internet-access for a small set of users. The latter feature will be reserved for individuals and organizations that are unable to access conventional communication networks due to natural disasters or man-made restrictions to the free-flow of information.
    Access to knowledge and information is a human right and Outernet will guarantee this right by taking a practical approach to information delivery. By directly transmitting digital content to WiFi, the most common type of radio in the world, a basic level of news, information, education, and entertainment will be available to all of humanity.
    Although Outernet's near-term goal is to provide the entire world with broadcast data, the long-term vision includes the addition of two-way Internet access for everyone. For free.

    HOW DOES IT WORK?

    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 sattelites 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.

    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2552177/Forget-Internet-soon-OUTERNET-Company-plans-beam-free-wi-fi-person-Earth-space.html#ixzz2sXHB5YjM


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