While the USA is busy shooting satellites out of the sky, Japan is launching new Internet service birds. It just orbited the WINDS, or Wideband Internetworking Engineering test and Development Satellite. Clever acronym. The goal of the spacecraft is to deliver high-speed access to far-flung corners of Asia where traditional, wired Internet access can be difficult to come by.
Not everyone thinks it’s needed though, as 95% of Japan is covered by conventional connectivity. The real question, critics say, is whether or not a digital divide in Japan exists. If so, the satellite addresses it. If not, it’s a waste of metal and plastic.