One man's plan for free Internet for the world, via satellite
Kosta Grammatis, CEO and founder of ahumanright.org, sees having an Internet connection as a basic human right. Grammatis is raising $150,000 to buy an orbiting satellite from a bankrupt company. He's looking for donors and partners.
One man's bankrupt satellite company is another man's opportunity to spread free Internet across the world. That's the hope of Kosta Grammatis, CEO and founder of ahumanright.org, who sees having an Internet connection as a basic necessity — in fact, a human right — for every global citizen.
Grammatis is raising $150,000 to create a business plan for buying a communications satellite and moving it to a new orbital slot to provide free Internet service to developing countries. He has his sights set on the TerreStar-1 satellite: a spacecraft the size of a school bus that launched in 2009 and is owned by a company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.
The idea of making free Internet available to all may sound like a pipe dream, but Grammatis has the right combination of technical background and ambition for the job. His resume includes working as an engineer for private spaceflight company SpaceX, as well as creating a bionic eye camera to transform a one-eyed filmmaker into "Eyeborg."
Grammatis and his team plan to pay the bills by allowing telecommunications companies to buy and resell high-speed bandwidth, even as they provide a slower connection speed for free to everyone. They have also begun to develop an open-source, low-cost modem that could provide developing countries with their link to the satellite and the rest of the world.