Satellites overtake balloons in leading the internet technology

Satellites reached their peak usage when they gained entrance into internet connectivity in areas where the internet is unavailable. Initially, they were the most expensive and the slowest in broadband services before the pandemic brought a new perspective of this concept.

Moreover, high technology companies decided to venture into this technology with the likes of SpaceX and OneWeb developing satellite constellations to provide broadband services. Google had initiated the Loon company to develop network balloons for internet coverage in remote and sidelined areas. Another company that deviated from balloon technology is Facebook. The company halted the Aquila project that intended to run the internet drones two years ago.

Companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX decided to develop satellites to provide internet services. Moreover, satellites have demonstrated that they can be relied upon when the weather changes, unlike the balloons, which would be less effective in bad weather.

Big satellites in the low-Earth orbit have the potential to provide internet to remote areas globally. Satellites have proved to offer high-speed internet connection with low latency. The Starlink constellation will dealing with 42000 satellites that will provide broadband internet connectivity for the UK and North American people. The rival to SpaceX, OneWeb, is also deploying constellation to provide internet connection services.

Another company that declared its intention of offering broadband internet connectivity is Amazon, which is deploying 3000 satellites to serve its customers through the Kuiper project. However, these mega-constellations have angered the astronomer who loves monitoring the systems of the cosmos from Earth.

The astronomers argue that the satellites hinder them from viewing the stars and confuse them to be stars. Dr. Alice Girman, an astronomer, stated that the satellites are going into space in huge quantities that are dangerous, with the industry defending itself as the provider of internet services. She emphasized that the industries behind these projects should stop rallying behind the philanthropy concept and accept that they are making profits from this business.

Gorman explained that satellites are not the answer to all the problems facing Earth. She pointed out that some areas for internet services’ inaccessibility are because they have not witnessed terrestrial infrastructure installations.

The assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Regina, Samantha Lawler, is in support of the arguments raised by these astronomers stating that the satellites reflect light, hindering the observation of stars. Elon Musk came to the support of satellite companies stating that there are about 4900 satellites in space and no incidence of satellite obscurity has been reported. He tweeted that astronomers should stop making excuses to hinder space exploration.