Internet by Satellite Is a Space Race With No Winners

On one side: Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX (and Tesla Motors), backed by Google. On the other: Musk’s friend Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb, backed by Virgin Galactic parent company The Virgin Group and its eccentric billionaire founder Richard Branson.

The prize: the chance to sell high-speed satellite internet connections to the billions of people throughout the world who don’t yet have access—and in the process become a global telecommunications company to rival giants like Comcast and Verizon. And, in Musk’s mind, the opportunity to sell internet access to Martian colonists, when the time comes.

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Late last month, as first reported by DCInno, SpaceX filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to begin testing such a system. Unfortunately, the idea of cheap, ubiquitous high-speed satellite Internet may be just as science fictional as Musks’s dreams of planetary migration.