Coming Soon? Free WiFi for World's Poor
Ahumanright.org will buy, re-purpose satellite
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2011 2:25 PM CST
An unknown russian/soviet research satellite of the DS-Series is seen in this file photo.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – One NGO has an ambitious New Year's resolution: to reconfigure a commercial satellite in order to offer free, low-speed wireless Internet to poor parts of the world. Ahumanright.org, a Berlin nonprofit, has placed a bid for TerreStar-1, a communications satellite that belongs to a bankrupt company. From TerreStar's perch over Papua New Guinea, the organization plans to offer wifi to portions of South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Siberia, and Polynesia.

Ahumanright.org's founder Kosta Grammatis plans to fund the free wireless by devoting some of TerreStar-1's capabilities to a for-pay, high-speed broadband service for corporations. Grammatis outlined his organization's mission: "Ahumanright is charged with promoting Internet access as a human right. We try to do this in three different ways: Connect with businesses and governments and discuss the creation of a 'free' segment to their networks; envision our own free network with our friends at NASA; buy and re-purpose underutilized infrastructure."