Amazon is set to compete with Starlink on satellite Internet

Amazon is making moves to challenge Starlink when it comes to satellite Internet. We tweeted about it yesterday and you can find more information here.

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On top of the obvious problems around space junk, this is yet another indicator that Big Tech will continue to do whatever they can to maintain control of the Internet.

As @Sacha said to me yesterday, “This is scary. If Amazon has a majority of the satellites, today’s Internet would officially turn into a monopoly.”

Some people have brought up the fact that ThreeFold itself relies on big Internet providers in order to scale the grid. And while this is true for now (Rome wasn’t built in a day), I wanted to also clarify a few things related to this point and open up a discussion:

  • ThreeFold is focused on Internet capacity, because this is where data resides. It’s essential we move away from the centralized data center model and take back control of our data and our digital lives.
  • The networking / connectivity side is also important but it’s a bit of a different story. Connectivity relies on cables, satellites, and base stations, most of which is currently owned by private companies.
  • We do have a partner in Kleos that offers last mile connectivity and we will need to work with them and future partners to bring connectivity by the people.
  • Someone on Twitter recommended we check out SpaceChain (we’ve reached out) and others have theorized around a Helium partnership. You never know!
  • Also, related to this topic and worth checking out is our Planetary Network, a peer-to-peer end-to-end encrypted global network, providing universal connectivity between nodes, ThreeFold Grid deployers, and solution users

What do you make of this news? What are your thoughts on bringing connectivity by the people, for the people?


I can share a suggestion, a project with some similarities to the Helium concept but different and using wifi 6 mesh to enable large scale connectivity.

I am far from an expert, but everyone has a router, if you can connect to your closest neighbors and so on… you can create a large city size network. The project is still at early stages, please have a look

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I don’t like this development for different reasons.

For low-earth orbit satellite Internet to work properly, those satellites have to be relatively close to the earth and there have to be quite a lot of them for proper coverage. You need rockets to get all of them up there (not the most sustainable mode of transportation). The numerous satellites that are required will clutter space – causing debris and light pollution, while also interfering with space observation and increasing the risk of collisions. If one of them stops working, you can’t just go up there and fix it.

And then, there’s the Amazon-factor. I don’t really feel comfortable with a tech giant like Amazon also moving into satellite Internet on top of everything else (for various reasons, e.g. the ‘Gazelle Project’, AWS’ 33% share of the global cloud market, data privacy concerns, …).

Sure, there’s been an explosion in Internet usage, and the demand for Internet capacity will only continue to grow. But I believe we should focus on more efficient, more sustainable and less centralized solutions.

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