Now it is getting involved, albeit indirectly through investment, in getting internet connectivity to the under developed areas of the world. The company that is behind the latest effort to help make the internet truly global is 03b Networks which was founded and is run by Greg Wyler who is described in today’s WSJ as a 38 year old telecommunications entrepreneur. The ultimate goal of the company is to put as many as 16 satellites in the sky that would work to provide internet service to Africa, the Middle East and parts of Latin America by the end of 2010.
While this is not the first time this has been attempted the simple fact that Google is investing some undisclosed portion of the initial $60 million raised (the total cost to pull this off is stated at $65 million) makes it a bit unique. Not to bore you with the details but the idea is to get the signals to local service providers (not individual users) and they will then distribute the signal out over cellular networks or their own networks.
While Google is busy looking to handle the hiring of special high powered lawyers by the government to fight their deal with Yahoo! they are behind the scenes doing other things that will ultimately lead to more internet users to receive ads. Even though it is “behind the scenes” it actually appears on the front page of the Marketplace section of the paper along with the story about the potential US lawsuit against them. It’s the efforts like this one that go “almost” unnoticed but when one steps back and sees the larger world impact it shows Google may end up being bigger and more diverse then we can imagine. Think about it, in certain countries one day they may only need to dial 888-GOOGLE to get internet connectivity, phone service and access to all the goods and services they would ever want.
Sounds far-fetched I suppose but is it really?