Amazon’s Project Kuiper hasn’t yet launched a single satellite, but in a video released this week, it’s talking up what its broadband internet constellation will be able to do for rural connectivity.
The video focuses on unmet broadband needs in Cle Elum (pop. 2,037), a town nestled in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state.
“Quite a few people move out to this area because it’s gorgeous, but people are reluctant to open small businesses due to the lack of reliable internet,” Audrey Malek, founding partner of Basecamp Outfitters, says on camera.
The solution — at least according to MiMi Aung, senior manager at Project Kuiper — is the 3,236-satellite constellation that her team is planning to start testing in orbit as early as next year.
“Even just right here in our backyard, right outside Redmond, there are areas where there is no internet connection, or extraordinarily poor connection, and we can make a huge impact right away,” said Aung, who came to Amazon from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she headed up the team behind the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars.