As has been previously reported, various big internet companies have announced plans to provide internet access from platforms at high altitudes…but much below the distances of satellites… which would cover most, or perhaps all, of the hard to reach and hard to support areas of the world. This would include coverage for states such as NM with rural populations that are very spread out, and thus challenging to service with connectivity and affordability.
Since these platforms in the sky would be much closer to homes and businesses than satellites, the lag present in satellite internet access wouldn’t be a problem. Also, satellites are very very expensive to launch and maintain, whereas these models being proposed are much less capital intensive. Still not a mom and pop level of expense, however.
These efforts have progressed far enough now to be thought of as likely to occur in some version, rather than just pie in the sky. (so far no flying pies have been proposed, but you never know.) The problem is that it will be some time before such services are perfected and actually available to users.
We may see some further consolidation of efforts…for example recent articles and here….have stated that Zuckerberg from Facebook would like to join up with Google’s similar endeavor “Project Loon” and “Project Titan”.
Since both of these giants have a access to very deep pockets, and since it’s their business model to hook everyone up AND to make access affordable…”something” that works seems inevitable.
This means that at some point, the digital divide will be much less a matter of inadequate access, and much more a matter of how far behind some groups find themselves in the race to gain from cloud tools. If you start out much later than others, you will have to somehow catch up. Tools that work well with the former digital have nots, will thus be in high demand.