I Bought a Satellite and All I Got Was This Stupid News Post

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
I Bought a Satellite and All I Got Was This Stupid News Post

A non-profit company wants to buy the most advanced communications satellite ever launched and use it to provide free internet to the world.

The group organizing the effort calls itself A Human Right, and it believes that the communication and knowledge that the internet provides is, well, a human right. The internet spreads ideas and information faster than the speed of light and brings enlightenment to all it touches, yet only one sixth of the Earth's population has access to it. A Human Right wants to change that, but this is no fly-by-night, hippy-dippy idea - founder Kostas Grammatis has a plan, which he outlined at a TED conference in Greece last December [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT3NBbD_ml8&]. Grammatis's plan involves the TerreStar-1 satellite, which was launched in July 2009. The company that owns the satellite recently filed for bankruptcy and rather than let the advanced communications array go unused, Grammatis wants to raise money to buy TerreStar-1 and use it provide internet to parts of the world where internet access is severely limited.

The initiative is unimaginatively named Buy This Satellite [http://buythissatellite.org/] has three steps. Step one: put a hole in a box. Wait. No.

Step one is to raise $150,000 to get a formal business plan together and organize a bid to buy the satellite. Step two will be the actual proposal to TerreStar and development of an open source modem to receive the internet waves from space. The final step will be to move the satellite to an appropriate orbit and flip on the switch.

There's no word on what the TerreStar-1 satellite will actually end up costing - similar sales of telco satellites have been as high as $23 million. But A Human Right has a lot of star power behind it, including human rights and technology companies, as well as the founders of Earth Day International and XM Radio on the advisory board.

It's an ambitious plan, and A Human Right has set up an attractive website that outlines the plan and offers a simple interface to donate to the cause via PayPal. If you give a paltry $25, you get a pin decrying that you bought a satellite. For $50, you get a clever tee-shirt that says "I bought a satellite and all I got was this stupid teeshirt." Which you have to admit, is pretty dang funny.

Given that almost $50,000 has already been raised, Grammatis's plan may just be crazy enough to work.

Head over to buythissatellite.org [http://buythissatellite.org/] if you're interested.

Source: Discovery [http://news.discovery.com/tech/free-internet-for-all.html]


Anton P. Nym

New member
Sep 18, 2007
Snowalker said:
This sounds good and all... until you realize we've already ran out of IP addresses...
IPv6, baby... it's coming, and it'll give us an Internet worth of Internets when it does.

Regarding the satellite, y'know, I'm tempted to get the t-shirt. I've spent that much on less-worthy causes. Hmm...

-- Steve


New member
Mar 4, 2009
Veloxe said:
Internet? Wouldn't a space laser be more useful?
This. A truly human right would be a weapon, since that tends to be humanity's way. Its a nice idea, and might be possible. It would certainly sort of equalise the differences between the First and Third worlds a bit.

(Off-topic: Yay, 400th post)


I plan to live forever.
Apr 10, 2010
This seems... very interesting.

I will be keeping a close eye on this for the months to come, seems like a really good idea to me, and if it works then, well, that would be brilliant :)

Albino Boo

New member
Jun 14, 2010
Nice idea but I doubt very much it will happen. I just don't see the Chinese government allowing satellite broadband from an organisation called a a human right and that links with Nasa. When it comes to making offers that people can't refuse the Chinese government can outspend any NGO.


New member
Mar 9, 2010
"The internet spreads ideas and information faster than the speed of light and brings enlightenment to all it touches"

Apparently enlightenment doesn't include knowing that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.


Good idea and all, but I wouldn't be surprised if Comcast comes in and buys it first to prevent this from happening.


New member
Jan 10, 2011
I can see this as a BlackOps mission...

Here's the mission...blah blah blah big satellite, blah blah blah internet for all, blah blah blah not money coming to us, blah blah blah blow it up, blah blah don't get caught, most importantly: Win.


Gone Gonzo
Jun 16, 2008
Mazty said:
Clever idea that hasn't been thought through. You will need to provide said people with wireless receivers and PC's if need be, not to mention claiming the internet is a "human right" is absurd. When the internet is better monitored with the illegal & dangerous content removed, sure, then claim it as a right, but before then, tread carefully as we've seen in Egypt what modern communications can result in (not to mention the countless pedophiles arrested).
Huh, okay. I want to rebut this but could you elaborate a little more on what you mean? Especially that last bit. Are you implying that the internet is responsible for what's going on in Egypt?