SpaceX Update: Elon Musk’s Global Gigabit Internet Project Available Before 2020?

By Chloe Davis, Posted: 11/25/16 11:32AM EST

Elon Musk's SpaceX project was dubbed as the most ambitious venture in history. While Musk's plan to colonize Mars is one crazy idea to some, his plans of launching the Internet from space is one that could favor many. Musk wants to come up with low-cost gigabit connection for public use. 

What is Gigabit Internet and how fast is it? A gigabit internet provides speeds of 1000Mbps delivered thru fiber optic lines.The global average Internet connection speed for the first quarter of 2016 was 6.3Mbps, Statista noted. That can already stream a 720p high-definition video without waiting and download a song in seconds. Imagine a connectivity that is 200 times faster than that. That's what Elon Musk wants to give the Earth.

Space Internet-via-satellite launch

The burning question is when will it happen? Elon Musk just received a green light from Federal Communications Commission but he still needs the go signal from the International Telecommunication Union. The filed document revealed SpaceX's global Internet through satellites will provide low latency broadband services for consumers and businesses in the U.S. and globally.

It's too early to say when this would happen as SpaceX declined to comment about the projected timeline. However, Musk confirmed satellite testing will happen as early as 2017. When things run smoothly, Earth might get the access to low-cost gigabit Internet in half a decade. SpaceX's competitor OneWeb is eyeing to launch theirs by 2020 and Musk won't surely settle for any year later than that.

Cheap gigabit connection

Presently, fiber optic Internet is not available for everyone. Google Fiber, for example, was just made available to Provo, Kansas City and Austin. Google is still expanding its project to various states. Google Fiber's 1Gbps price ranges from $70 to $130 month, a bit more expensive than a typical 10 Mbps at $50.

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