Google To Invest Billions In Global Satellite Broadband Build Out

How do you deliver broadband Internet access to areas that are off the beaten path, both stateside and abroad? Google may have found that answer to that question by staring into space. According to several reports, the Mountain View firm is planning to spend anywhere from $1 billion to $3 billion shooting low-altitude satellites into space.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Greg Wyler, founder of satellite broadband trunking provider O3b Networks, and is backed by Google, which is a shareholder in the company. Along with a few other strategic partners, they've created an company referred to as L5 in regulatory filings and registered as WorldVu Satellites Ltd. in St. Helier, Jersey.

Image Source: Flickr (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

According to SpaceNews, the newly formed entity picked up Ku-band spectrum that was initially intended for a company called SkyBridge, which planned to launch 360 small satellites into space for global Internet service. However, SkyBridge fizzled out of existence due to lack of financing.

Rather than let the project die, the Google-backed venture is planning to launch around 180 satellites into space initially. They're designed to operate in circular orbits of 800 and 950 kilometers inclined 88.2 degrees relative to the equator. Using the purchased Ku-band, these satellites will deliver broadband access to remote parts of the world and into emerging markets.

Based on information in L5's filings, the satellites will begin rolling out service in 2019.