Outernet

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For other uses, see Outernet (disambiguation).
CubeSats launched from the International Space Station on 4 October 2012.

The Outernet is a global networking project currently under development by the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), a United States-based non-profit organization established in 1995 by Saša Vučinić and Stuart Auerbach. The Outernet's goal is to provide free access to internet data through Wi-Fi, made available effectively to all parts of the world.

The project would involve using datacasting and User Datagram Protocol through hundreds of CubeSats measuring 10 cm (3.9 in) each. Wi-Fi enabled devices would communicate with the satellites in their region, which in-turn communicate with other satellites and ground-based networks, thus forming the global network.[1][2]

The network would initially support only one-way traffic, with two-way traffic being implemented once adequate funding is raised. Initial prototype satellite deployment is planned for June 2014, with the final deployment run scheduled for mid-2015. According to MDIF, the initial content access includes international and local news, crop prices for farmers, Teachers Without Borders, emergency communications such as disaster relief, applications and content such as Ubuntu, movies, music games, and Wikipedia in its entirety.[3]

"There isn't a lot of raw research that is being done here; much of what is being described has already been proven by other small satellite programs and experiments," stated Project Lead Syed Karim. "There's really nothing that is technically impossible to this."[4]

MDIF plans to formally request NASA to use the International Space Station to test their technology in September 2014. Manufacturing and launching of satellites would begin in early 2015, and Outernet is planned to begin broadcasting in June 2015.[4] India based "Spacify Inc." is a private non-profit company by Silicon Valley based technocrat and entrepreneur Siddharth Rajhans along with Space debris mitigation expert Sourabh Kaushal, which is privately working on using this technology to provide global free Wi-Fi access.

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