With all of the Democratic presidential campaigns out there — we already have nearly two dozen candidates — there are lot of campaign promises floating around that boil down to, "If elected, I will ensure free and unfettered access to [desirable thing] for everybody." Free and unfettered access to Medicare is popular with almost everyone running. Some are promising free and unfettered access to higher education. One guy, Andrew Yang, is even promising free and unfettered access to, er, income.
That's right. To heck with jacking up the minimum wage to $15 — Andrew Yang thinks everyone should get a free paycheck, every month, no matter what. If you're starting to sense a trend here, well, you're not the only one. Even people outside the Go Big or Go Home School of Presidential Politics are getting in the swing of promising free and unfettered access to cool stuff for everyone. Amazon officially filed plans this week to create a massive satellite network that would provide free global internet access.
The intent of the so-called Project Kuiper (named for astronmer Gerard Kuiper) is to create a network of 3,236 low Earth orbit satellites that will beam "low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world." Yeah, OK, we caught it too. "Unserved" and "underserved" probably aren't meant to refer to People Who Live in Countries Where They Have It Pretty Good Already. Sorry, Mr. and Mrs. First World Problems. Just like Trix are for kids, Project Kuiper is for people who need it most.
When you think about the size of the world, however, and the number of people who don't have ready access to reliable internet, the notion of providing free internet access to "everyone" remains true in spirit, if not in strict point of fact. If and when Project Kuiper comes to fruition, it will be a huge difference maker for a whole lot of people. Think about everything that you use the internet for and try to imagine what it would be like to not have 24/7 on-demand access to all of those things ... and then suddenly get it.
Reliable internet access provides a great many advantages, but we here at TestOut Continuing Education are particularly appreciative of how it can provide opportunity and education. Without the massive internet infrastructure that already exists, connecting billions of people, places and things around the world, we couldn't pursue our mission of helping people get access to a better life through IT training and skills acquisition. We're big fans of Project Kuiper and the hope and opportunity it can (and ideally will) provide.
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- Tags: Gerard Kuiper, internet, Internet of Things, science, The Milk of Human Kindness, The Mysteries of the Universe