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Amazon’s new internet service plans are out of this world

Many of the biggest tech companies in the world have a vested interest in bringing internet access to more people. Google is using balloons, while Facebook is experimenting with connectivity drones.

While many of these initiatives are considered pie in the sky by naysayers, Amazon is planning to go further afield in a bid to launch its own broadband service. The company is planning to launch a network 3,236 satellites that would provide low-latency, high-speed internet broadband service.

According to filings with the International Telecommunication Union in March (via Reuters), Amazon has dubbed the initiative Project Kuiper, presumably after the Kuiper belt – the circumstellar disc in the outer Solar System.

In a statement Amazon said the idea was to bring basic internet connectivity to parts of the world that currently lack it.

“Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world,” the firm said.

“This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision.”

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Amazon said the satellites will be posted at three different altitudes in low-Earth orbit. At 367 miles, there’ll be 784 satellites, at 379 miles there’ll be 1,296 satellites, and there’ll be 1,156 satellites at 391 miles. Conceivably, the reach of the satellites will cover 95% of the world’s total population.

It’s not yet clear if Amazon will build the satellites itself, but we can take a pretty good guess as to how they’ll reach low-Earth orbit. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos happens to own space rockets, which might come in pretty handy.

Is this Amazon’s latest effort to commandeer the whole internet? Or a philanthropic effort to bring connectivity to those who don’t have it? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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