There’s a new project in the works, Outernet, that aspires to bring the international accessibility of shortwave radio along with the versatility of the Internet. Outernet’s goal is stated on their website:
“By leveraging datacasting technology over a low-cost satellite constellation, Outernet is able to bypass censorship, ensure privacy, and offer a universally-accessible information service at no cost to global citizens. It’s the modern version of shortwave radio, or BitTorrent from space.”
It’s a fascinating concept: deploy low-cost, CubeSat satellites which broadcast data in a way that it should be accessible to anyone with a wi-fi enabled device such as smart phone or computer. Specifically, Outernet states that they will be using, “globally-accepted, standards-based protocols, such as DVB, Digital Radio Mondiale, and UDP-based WiFi multicasting.”
(What? Did they say Digital Radio Mondiale? They did indeed.)
I’m all about freedom of and access to information, so I hope Outernet is successful. They’ve published an ambitious timeline with a goal of having CubeSats ready to deploy as soon as June of 2015. For more information, check out Outernet’s project page.