Will a Google Satellite Be Your Next Internet Provider?

Stuck in a remote part of the world with limited Internet access? Help may be on the way in the form of a Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) satellite. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.

Credit: The Motley Fool.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Larry Page is authorizing between $1 billion and $3 billion for developing and launching 180 small Google satellites into low-Earth orbit. The idea is to supply Internet access via craft similar to (but smaller than) those designed by O3b, a satellite communications start-up Google has invested in. Founder Greg Wyler has since left to head up the search king's satellite Internet program.

The news comes on the heels of both Google and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) announcing plans to use drones to bring Internet service to hard-to-reach regions. Project Loon enhances those efforts via Internet delivered from high-altitude balloons. Here in the U.S., a plan to give small businesses Wi-Fi equipment could establish a de facto Google network anyone can plug into. Finally, there's Google Fiber to consider. We'd call it an arms race if this were the 1980s and Facebook and Google were stockpiling weapons rather than enabling Internet connections.

More broadly, the news suggests that Google isn't as dependent on high-speed, hard-wired fiber connections as we might have believed only a year ago. Choosing wireless (and ultimately, satellite) should make it easier to blanket the entire world with at least some broadband. A plan that mirrors Facebook's own ambitions.

Those with fiber envy may find that annoying. For everyone else -- including not just consumers but also Facebook and Google investors -- more comprehensive broadband access amounts to a win. Tim says that's true no matter who's funding the source.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you think of Google's satellite plan? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2014, at 8:18 AM, shoprecord002 wrote:

    Could be!! If it is free and unrestricted. So far there have been well established lots satellite ISPs already. Google has to provide a significant cheaper price to attract customers, or even free. At the same time the whole market will cost down, which is good for end users. Although Google won't make much profit from this, but it will disrupt the ISP market prices and beneficial to end users. Look forward to it!

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2014, at 8:18 AM, shoprecord002 wrote:

    Could be!! If it is free and unrestricted. So far there have been well established lots satellite ISPs already. Google has to provide a significant cheaper price to attract customers, or even free. At the same time the whole market will cost down, which is good for end users. Although Google won't make much profit from this, but it will disrupt the ISP market prices and beneficial to end users. Look forward to it!

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2014, at 2:31 PM, pcarbon wrote:

    Such satellites would cover the world. Looking for applications only in remote, poor regions would waste capacity needlessly. So, Google will look for use also in the developed world. Think Mobile and Internet of Things : how about providing free internet connection to (driver-less) cars anywhere in the world ?

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