Outernet concept


Hello outernet team,

I am really excited for outernet technology and I hope you the best.
A couple of questions came to my mind and I would like to share with you.
q1: what is or what was very first aim when you started developing outernet from idea? did you want to develop a new technology to provide free broadcasting media like a library to people? or providing free internet and two way communication methods to people whom live in poor and under developing countries?
if your aim is just providing free broadcasting to people then it is OK .
But if your aim was providing two way communication and internet, then may I know when will you achieve this aim?
q2: how did you come to this point to develop a free library broadcasting to people over satelite? from global survey? since to me radio sets and TV sets over satelite and internet do same jobs they broadcast news free to people, the only thing identifies itself from other media is internet a two way communication including surf web, voice, video and messaging etc. I NEVER want to defeat against outernet, the only thing I don’t understand why you have tried to develop a new method to broadcast library while to me internet is in first priority. wasn’t it better to develop a free internet instead of free library broadcasting?
q3: imagine after a while millions of people use outernet and Lantern to read news from your library. you know every single person has his or her favorites and interests. one likes sports, other likes stories, etc. are you supposed to create a very large library with billions of topics and pages and broadcasted on outernet? there is a limit of 20MB/day of data for Lantern, I am worried I have to use much of it to search the library before I use my data just for what I need.
q4: let’s say I like specific topics about refugees which are happening now in Europe and I want to follow these news. if I use internet there are 10s of TV channels broadcast live news about these topics, but how about outernet? are you supposed to collect all info and news from TV channels and news editors from internet and have them published on outernet?
q5: does a user use his data every single time he browse the library to find his specific topics? if he can’t find his favorites topics then have you identified a solution for him to request have them added to outernet?

I will appreciate your time to clarify these questions.
have a nice day


I’ll let the Outernet team respond properly, but for me, the idea of the Outernet is to put a digital library somewhere that the internet doesn’t reach.

In terms of hardware, Outernet is a simple and elegant solution to fill the gap in one way content broadcasting.

The library is downloaded to the device, so the library is local to the user. Updates are sent over the air.

I have put together a terminal for under $150. Drop it into a school in Africa, and the cost to benefit ratio is huge!


I think answering this one question may give you enough information to find an answer for all other questions. It would be wonderful if everyone in the world could have free Internet, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon. There are companies that are trying to do that, that have much bigger budgets than we do (e.g., Facebook), and they are so far not coming up with anything useful. Meanwhile, we are doing what is doable, and that is a one-way datacast service. Our belief is that, for a vast majority of the planet, it’s better to have this today than to wait for any kind of Internet many more years.


Branko’s statement is absolutely correct. We are a small team working a very big problem. The only way for us to address and piece of the problem is being realistic in what we can solve with the means that we have. This is why we are offering a broadcast data service; a digital library from space.

We do what we can now and hope to do even more in the future.


@JohnSpace Our goal is to get the entire system cost down to under USD 100. We originally thought it would not be an issue because we could use low power processors, but we’re finding that we are continuously wanting to increase the functionality of Librarian, which costs more in terms of system resources.

Another thing that we are considering is offering an auto-pointing motor, that would take care of both elevation and azimuth, but the cost of this motor is more than the cost of hiring a technician. In some places, though, there is no technician around (and pointing the dish does take a bit of patience).


Well, I design complicated multi axis satcom antennas for ships and planes, so if I help at all…

Even if you had a automated system for pointing, you would still need to tell it where you are (or use GPS) If you have this information, you can get AZ, EL and POL figures from many websites. A cheap sat finder is all you need!

Also, you are only pointing at GEO sats, so its a one time thing. Motors add complication and cost…

Unless we are taking about using LEO assets downstream?


For our current receivers, we are focusing on GEO birds.