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O3b to launch first 4 satellites, start providing internet connection in remote areas

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It's been a few years since we've heard about O3b's mission to provide affordable internet access where it's not currently available, and for a while we thought we'd never see it happen. Thankfully, the company's plans didn't fall by the wayside: O3b is finally slated to launch its first four satellites on June 24, with the next four shooting into orbit sometime in September. The company aims to send a total of 16 medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites to space that small ISPs in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and Africa can tap into. Once they're operational, O3b claims the previously unconnected can experience max download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps, giving Google Fiber a run for its money. The satellites will begin their journey from French Guiana, but you don't need to fly there to be part of the event -- just kick back and monitor it live online via Ariane Space.

[Thanks, Vicki]

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