Why a satellite constellation for internet?
Most people in Europe have fast internet that comes through a cable – copper or fiber. These cables, especially fiber, deliver internet in great quantities. But most of these people also live in cities – places where the costs of laying cable can be spread out over a lot of households. But what about the rural communities? The length of cable necessary to reach them is longer, and the costs have to be divided between a smaller number of houses.This is not feasible.
The European Union wants to provide fast internet to all of its citizens, and it turns out that satellites are a great way to do that.
Satellite constellations are the ideal system to provide internet connectivity in undeserved or under deserved areas, which are often remote places where the cost of fiber deployment is very high, and even oceans.
Satellite constellations are a great addition to cables
Satellites roam the earth, and they don’t care about cities or rural areas: every piece of the earth gets the same coverage. The satellites in a constellation are near enough to each other so they can communicate and send data to one another. When you create them in such a way that they can send data to individual users on the ground as well, you create a ‘fiber in the sky:’ a user can send data to a satellite, the satellites pass it on to each other until it reaches the right place on the planet, and then it gets sent down again to the recipient. To see some examples of how that works, look at the image below.