Russian space agency to unveil plans for global internet infrastructure

Russian space agency to unveil plans for global internet infrastructure

Russian space agency Roscosmos will today present plans for a number of advanced space services, including the implementation of global

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Photo: Synertone Communication Corporation

Russian space agency Roscosmos will today present plans for a number of advanced space services, including the implementation of global space-based high-speed internet.

The proposal is not a new one—Elon Musk’s SpaceX and competitors like OneWeb and Boeing have already begun launching internet-supplying satellites. However, Roscosmos will be the first organisation to do so from Russia, a country which maintains a tight grip on its citizens’ internet freedoms.

Internet access in Russia has made significant strides in recent years with the number of users nearly doubling since 2010. However, given Russia’s immense size combined with its extremely remote areas, nearly a third of Russians are unable to access the web—a number which Roscosmos hopes to shrink.

While pursuing global high-speed internet may lead to immense profits, today’s announcement is likely driven by fears that a foreign company may soon service these rural Russians. Such a prospect represents a clear security threat to Moscow, which fiercely defends its cyber ‘sovereignty’. Thus, this move is likely a defensive maneuverer rather than an offensive one.

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