Broadband Blimps Or Press Releases That Are Full Of Hot Air?

from the launch-something-already,-dammit dept

For years and years we’ve been hearing about these so-called “stratellites.” They’re supposed to be these floating blimps that will provide wireless broadband. From the very beginning we’ve been skeptical of the plan — since there was still no evidence that the blimps worked, that they were safe and that they could be launched and maintained in a cost effective way. On top of that, there were plenty of questions about what kind of latency users would see, and whether or not it could be offered in an affordable way. However, the company behind “stratellites” has done an amazing job putting out a press release every six months or so for the last three years that is guaranteed to get a lot of press coverage from unquestioning reporters and bloggers who never seem to notice that the same story went out six months earlier, but there’s been no real progress. Of course, there still aren’t any of these things up in the air, and there are still no answers to any of the questions. So, seeing a headline claiming: Stratellites To Deploy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, you might think that the company was finally actually going to put one of these flying machines up in the air to prove that it actually works. However, given their history of press releases filled with hot air, rather than flying ships filled with hot air, you’d be right to be suspicious. This isn’t about them actually launching such things. Nope. It’s about them hiring two “international businessmen and dealmakers” to head up a “joint venture” to go out in those areas and try to find deals to launch these things. Once again, we’ll believe that these things work when we’re actually surfing the web over a stratellite connection and paying a reasonable fee to do so.

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Comments on “Broadband Blimps Or Press Releases That Are Full Of Hot Air?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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All I can say is, as someone who lives in a rural area near Yosemite where internet access is either Direcway or dialup (at sub-14.4k speeds), I sure *hope* they can make this “Stratellite” thing work. I have little hope that the giant telcos and cable companies will ever run DSL or cable out here. My only other hope is some form of power-line-broadband (BPL), and we know how well *that* is going.

Expo Junkie says:

No Subject Given

This technology isn’t totally hot air. I was at Wireless Japan 2005 today, and NiCT was showing video and posterboards of their tests of a stratelite of their own design, unmanned and it appears to be autonomous. They were doing various tests with it like UHF TV rebroadcasting, wireless internet, and some sort of laser communication.

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