The internet as we know it has become a butt of many jokes. We all depend on it, but everyone has no problems hating on it. It is viewed as the root of our problems — hate, traffic snarls, lack of social skills and even cold food. I know, I know. As a true believer in the network and its power, I think of it as a beautiful thing. And it all started today, 50 years ago, when two UCLA scientists sent a message to a Stanford University professor over the predecessor, ARPANET. The Conversation has listed five major milestones that helped create and shape the Internet, 50 years after the first network message. It is worth a read.
With OneWeb, Telesat and SpaceX’s combined infrastructure, the space network wouldn’t be close to it, though with its mega constellation, Starlink, SpaceX could theoretically have a capacity of 24 Tbps. That is very impressive — I have tracked satellite broadband for a long time, and nothing comes even close. However, it is not so impressive if you consider a single pair on a modern submarine cable carries more traffic than that.
The myth I’m exploring isn’t if SpaceX could carry MAREA’s traffic—it’s if they could carry half of used internet bandwidth in 2020. These new satellite constellations are going to be very important to reach underserved areas and provide them with lower latency. But the idea that they could take on half of long distance traffic isn’t yet feasible. Luckily for Elon, he has another great quote: “I say something then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens.”
Great analysis by Alan Mauldin, an old friend of ours from the day of the broadband blog.