A new NGO called A Human Right is attempting to raise $150K in a bid to buy one of the world's highest capacity communications satellites from its bankrupt owners in order to re-task it to supply Internet access to the world's poorest people. They plan on building their own super-cheap satellite modems as well.
Unlike most crowdfunding projects, they've put up bios of their team and advisors (I pass on nearly every Kickstarter project I get sent because the creators don't detail any successful project they've done before), which includes telcoms veterans, accomplished technologists, and aerospace experts. They also claim support from organizations as diverse as NASA, Fon, and Deutsche Telekom Labs.
Although we believe in free Internet for the planet, there are some realities to face: like paying the rent.Buy This Satellite (via Futurismic)
We will offer a diminished service for free to everyone, while allowing telecommunications companies to purchase and re-sell high speed bandwidth. Our goal is to not only get everyone online, but also facilitate the growth of an industry.
As the CTO of Deutsche Telekom Thomas Curran advised us: "You're evangelizing for access, expanding it. That can only help the industry." And helping industry helps developing countries grow.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.