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16 July 2019


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That will also kill cable television and probably much of the non-local stuff too. Content will also matter. It will be interesting to see what the global demand for woke tv will be versus the more traditional stuff.


Another loser will be ground-based astronomy, which will have the night sky degraded. Also, we'll have an increased chance of a "Kessler Event" where cascading collisions produce debris clouds that essentially make LEO un-usable.


Fred -

Killing cable tv just might be a good thing.

The Twisted Genius

The internet is already killing cable and their subscription packages. You can now pick and choose channels and subscribe for a month or so. There's also a lot of free content. My sons have ditched cable TV and FIOS TV for what's available over the internet. I have neither. I still rely on two antennas in the attic for free local broadcast. Even though I live in a hollow at the very edge of signal reception, free digital broadcast offers us everything we want.


It will provide a huge additional source of market data for Amazon's business- or, advance, as you put it 'its drive to become part of the world's economy'- as well as one more way to control the populations using their system by monitoring and sharing with ours and whatever other intelligence services Amazon chooses to do business with, all of the communications passing through their system.

Splendid? Maybe. I'd offer instead that its a mixed bag with tectonic implications.


The Washington Post had an article 3 years ago about this and included Boeing in the list of companies also interested in launching satellites to broadcast internet. It mentioned giving more power and resources to the FAA to oversee and track satellites, though one would presume that only includes satellites launched by companies in the US. As the world develops, what organization is able and willing to maintain and track the satellites we have and deploy, what laws and jurisdictions apply to space related incidents and how do we keep the orbit clear from debris for future endeavors.
As business in space becomes more common among many countries I hope we can keep things running smoothly and safely. It's all fascinating and I look forward to this aspect of the future.


Satellite internet can NEVER reach the throughput of a landline or 4G/5G services.

You should all take the time in the next cloudless night and look at the stars. Soon you will be no longer able to see a clear sky. There will be thousands of shiny objects racing through every humans view when they look up.

I find this violent occupation of public space that is shared by all humans for the greed of a few rich Bezos and Musks abhorrent.


One thing about space travel is the high speeds involved. When one 'hits' another piece of space hardware, the energies involved can kill you. My best analogy would be a highway collision at high speed. Considering the already crowded, or soon to be crowded nature of the optimal earth orbits, a provision for removal of these satellites, indeed, any new earth orbiting hardware should be a basic precondition for "permission" to launch such items.
At worst, this development is a big opportunity for some clever people to start a satellite recovery and repair service. This was one of the original reasons stated for the development of the American Space Shuttle. The Shuttle may be gone, but the reason for it's development remains. I wonder how many scientists and engineers are still available from the old Buran project? Mix them up with 'retired' American Space Shuttle boffins, set up shop in some small polity near the equator, and "the sky's the limit."
A second potential problem with the Sky Net proposal is, how much will the 'provider' charge for access? I'm now on fixed income, Social Security, and have been meeting people in similar situations who are dropping "services" such as cable, iPhones, and the like due to escalating prices. Considering the past history of "Trusts" and suchlike, a strong regulatory mechanism needs to be in place from the beginning of this venture. I'll admit that the initial 'start up' costs will be huge, but after the initial investment has been paid off, the rest, minus running and maintenance costs will be a giant profit. A customer base measured in the billions? That's the stuff that large fortunes are made of.
The competition for dominance in this field will be fierce, but, if history is any true guide, competition for lower prices, and thus larger customer bases will not be so cutthroat.
for many reasons, we should tread warily here.



Always with the grinding negativity. Always.


“At worst, this development is a big opportunity for some clever people to start a satellite recovery and repair service. ” This was foreshadowed in science fiction about 1968, although I can’t remember the name and author of the short story.



unlike the view from the beach of all the non-shiny ecofriendly wind power generators or the closed-to-fishing zones surrounding them.

Eric Newhill

That and I wonder if it is possible to commit space piracy and steal a satellite in orbit. I think the US might have done this once to the Soviets, but it might be a rumor.

No one is going to steal a US government sat because then you'd have the US govt coming after you. However, a private satellite? Amazon doesn't have a space force. Does the US govt's space force act as police for private companies? Does the USMC now have to replace "shores of Tripoli" with "outer limits of the thermosphere"?


Alexa, Jeff Bezos surely won't cut my satellite internet if I post a pro-Trump meme somewhere, right? Right??


Yup, unusable for a long, long time. Truly a risky thing to do.


I wonder how the Chinese in particular, but there are others, would react to all these satellites above their airspace intending to allow communications to/from their population that, unlike their current Internet, they potentially can't control.

Looks like the US acting like it owns the Earth.


This is the end of poetry.

Lloyd D. Herod, Jr.

So the despoliation of one view justifies the despoliation of another?


Living under threat of the Big One, I would welcome satellite internet as the sole reliable means of communication when electricity, phone, and cable lines go down for an extended period. The only question is, how do you power the connection? Current satellite internet seems to require a lot of power. I assume that this would be a major obstacle to acceptance throughout the developing world, too.

I hope they can find a solution.



A group of commercial fisherman losing their livelyhood is a-okay 'cause we only have 12 years and the tragedy of the commons was just some thing written up in England a few century's ago. You'll need a boat to get to most of the off-shore wind farms to see the nightly light polution and don't worry about all those sea-birds getting whacked by these things, that's just collateral damage of saving the Earth.


Come the next Carrington Event, satellites won't matter. I live 33 km from the Brisbane GPO in QLD. I had wonderful TV reception when it was analogue. It dropped to zero when Australia went to digital TV. I live in a hollow and digital is very much line of sight. My landline had major faults and became almost useless after rain, but the NBN (National Broadband Network) was coming soon. For five years it was coming soon! It got so bad that I cancelled the landline and used a dumb mobile (cell for the US) phone. Since I couldn't get reliable internet access via other means, the Government paid for a satellite service to be installed. Speeds were bad and data limits were far from generous.

Suddenly a spurt of competition from the mobile service providers meant that the mobile telephone suppliers upgraded the cell towers around me and wireless internet became an option. It is still slow, but allows me to watch Youtube, Stan and Netflix if I want. Because the Australian Government has banned Huawei 5G, it will be probably 20 years before my Huawei 5G modem is useable above 4G. Having had satellite service for several years, don't expect it will be wonderful. It's not!


Best I could find was 2000, Vasquez Orbital Salvage and Satellite Repair. Matthew Jarpe.


Asimov. Clarke. Heinlein. The three greats.


Especially since the purpose is influence. We live in the age of Propaganda.


Don't forget Viasat, backed by Seth Klarman.



Do your sons play the internet streaming services on a standard TV set using something like Roku?



Congratulations of the Cyrillic. You might be interested to know that Steven in Arabic is rendered as Mustapha.

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