Your Name and Title:

Don Means, Director


Library, School, or Organization Name:

Gigabit Libraries Network


Co-Presenter Name(s):



Area of the World from Which You Will Present:



Language in Which You Will Present:



Target Audience(s):

Libraries with poor or no internet connections. National libraries. National Communications Regulators


Short Session Description (one line):

Breakthrough communications from low earth orbiting satellites to bring most un/underserved libraries and their patrons online.


Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Traditional telecommunications technologies and service models have failed to generate connectivity for an estimated 3.5 billion people around the world. While public libraries have led in  providing bridges across the digital divide, they too require adequate connections. Yet too many libraries in too many places lack this essential ICT resource.


Traditional infrastructure economics says that the farther one is from a system core (water, electricity, telecommunications, etc.) the more expensive it is to deliver services. Just now a new model for telecom is arriving in the form of low earth orbiting (LEO) communications satellites. In this model, any location, as downlink, may be connected to 100+Mbps broadband for essentially the same cost. That’s new. That’s unique.


Plans for such systems have been prevalent since the 1990’s, but none till now have come close to realizing the dream. Today, least a half dozen new efforts are now in development, with the Starlink system by SpaceX being the first operational service, albeit at an early stage.


This session will explore the prospects for libraries around the world, especially in the least served locations, to install LEO earth stations and instantly become active community hubs for access to the worlds digital resources. We’ll review on how the technology works. How much skill may be required to install a unit. We’ll discuss prospects for this different technical approach to actually bring universal public access closer to reality.  And sooner!



Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

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