Nearly half of the world lacks Internet access, but one man is working towards a revolutionary method of content delivery.
Syed Karim, founder and chief executive officer of Outernet, has been building a global FM radio station in outer space since 2014 and he’s taking requests via Twitter. Just tweet Outernet’s editor, Thane Richard at @ThaneRichard
But, Karim warns, don’t pick a song that only you will enjoy. Pick something with universal appeal.
Karim built Outernet because 4.4 billion people in the world don’t have access to the Internet. Outernet delivers free content to those people daily, and is equipped to broadcast up to 100 gigabytes of data per day. Daily content includes music, books, videos and art.
Among the content sent in December were Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the animated short Big Buck Bunny and music from Thievery Corporation. While this content may seem frivolous, isn’t 90 percent of what we all search for online just as trivial?
If you want to tweet your request to Richard, read Outernet’s Wikipedia page first, where the project’s content goals are clearly stated as:
- Education. A work should enable a user to be a more informed participant in society and/or aid in moving them towards a higher plane of knowledge.
- Truth. A work should be true and support the right of the public to truth.
- Transparency. A work should allow a user to have greater understanding of the institutions that affect their daily life.
- Empowerment. A work should give a user an enhanced ability to manipulate the course of their life towards their intended goal.
- Health and Safety. A work should provide the required information to lead a healthier, safer, and ultimately more enjoyable life.
- Quality of Life. A work should either directly or indirectly provide a means for a user to improve their quality of life.
And here’s a pro tip: When you tweet your request, find a link to download the file and figure out the copyright status of the file before you tweet. Outernet doesn’t send links. It sends actual files because a link won’t work if there’s no Internet.
Curious about what is being broadcast? You don’t have to live in the developing world to find out. Outernet sends out a summary each week of what will be broadcast. Sign up for its weekly email here.
Photo Credit: WIRED UK/Jordan Hollender