What is outernet?
Outernet Inc is a global broadcast data startup currently being incubated by the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), a United States-based impact investment fund and non-profit organization established in 1995 by Saša Vučinić and Stuart Auerbach. Outernet's goal is to provide free access to content from the web through geostationary and Low Earth Orbit satellites, made available effectively to all parts of the world.
The project uses datacasting and User Datagram Protocol through both small satellites, such as CubeSats, and larger, more conventional geostationary communications satellites in a satellite constellation network. Wi-Fi enabled devices would communicate with the satellite hotspots, which receive data broadcasts from satellites.
A device called the "Lantern" (previously known as Pillar), a data receiver and media storage system, is being designed and developed by Outernet that will be a "completely self-contained, high-speed receiver" that is "solar-powered, weatherproof, and creates a wireless hotspot to allow WiFi-enabled devices to access content." The purpose of the Pillar, as stated by Outernet, is to provide free access to the media archive, through Outernet, in high traffic public locations, such as schools
The Outernet project is raising funds to expand globally, in order to reach third world countries or populations lacking basic access to the Internet. The amount of funds necessary to kickstart the project was $200,000. As of 20 November 2014, $224,167 had been raised. However, public participation was still encouraged until December 12, 2014, as the maximum donation is listed at $1,000,000,000.
Outernet has stated three specific goals when developing the Outernet: to provide information without censorship for educational and emergency purposes. They have stated that they plan to provide information about "news, civic information, commodity prices, weather, construction plans for open source farm machinery" and other types of information. They also have stated that they will be providing access to "courseware," which includes textbooks, videos, and software. Outernet will be available also when access to regular Internet connection is down for any reason.
Media coverage over the Outernet has ranged from excitement to skepticism. A CNN video released on February 24, 2014 goes into detail of how the idea seems great, but has many drawbacks due to costs and the feasibility of the project. Other media outlets that have brought up the Outernet include The Washington Post and NBC. Media coverage has also gone into other competing projects that have surfaced, such as Google's Project Loon and Facebook's Internet.org.
There has also been debate over the politics involved in the introduction of the Outernet to the public. Many fears exist over whether "the major telecom companies worldwide will fight the plans for space-based broadcasting of information readily available on the Internet."
A BBC News report summarized Karim's TEDGlobal talk, observing that illiteracy will be a limiting factor for rural adoption.
Source:Copied from wikipedia and edited by DAGOBERT