Spreading Internet access to every human being who wants it is one of the most important enabling factors in creating a truly advanced civilization. With universal Internet access, all the know-how of the human race will be at the fingertips of the individual, empowering them to make well-informed decisions on the things that are important to them. Specifically, Internet access enables —
- Online education of an extremely high quality
- Pandemic preparedness and well-organized disaster response. With wireless Internet, people on the ground in disaster zones can give an accurate, up-to-the-minute picture of where relief is needed.
- People can find out best practises for agriculture and get free seeds, so that they can grow as much food as they need.
- People have access to open design projects, and the projects themselves draw on a greater pool of intelligence. This accelerates software development, hardware development, scientific research and other areas.
- Telemedicine — people with Internet access can get accurate diagnostic information, they can remotely talk to a doctor, and can even undergo surgery via remote-controlled robots.
Therefore, there is a clear need to create a free wireless Internet network that covers every inch of land.
The only way this is likely to happen is local fabrication. Fab labs have already been used to build web servers and wireless transmitters. A dual approach of spreading fabrication technologies to build many small wireless transmitters, and building extremely long-range wireless transmitters, would perhaps be best.