Four years ago, John Gedmark, Cofounder & CEO of Astranis, who calls himself, “your friendly neighborhood rocket scientist,” set out to get the next four billion people online by building the next generation of internet satellites via geostationary orbit. Last year, he introduced Astranis to the world, announcing a Series A fundraising from the deep pockets of Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. This January, he announced their first mission: tripling the satellite internet capacity of Alaska by partnering with Pacific Dataport.
Yesterday, Gedmark announced that SpaceX is partnering with his company to put the first of their geostationary satellites into orbit next year, dedicated to making an immediate impact on bridging the digital divide in Alaska. The satellites will take a ride on SpaceX Falcon 9 with a launch window at Florida’s Cape Canaveral starting in the fourth quarter of 2020. Pacific Dataport and Microcom, Astranis’ Alaska partners, will be able to provide residential and commercial Alaskan customers in even the most remote parts of the state with faster, more affordable and more reliable true broadband internet service by March 2021.
“We’re excited about what this means for Alaska,” Gedmark said, “one of the most rugged states in America, and by extension, one of the hardest to serve with broadband internet. Our satellite will bring Pacific Dataport’s customers over 7.5 Gbps of capacity, which will roughly triple the entire satellite capacity available in the state today while reducing costs by up to three times,” he said.
August 28, 2019