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October 7, 2002

Crash Go the Satellites

The birth and demise of an idea: Teledesic's 'Internet in the sky'

"This is how a plan to take over the world ended with a whimper.

Last week, Teledesic laid off all but 10 employees and suspended its satellite contract.

With that, the Bellevue company started by Craig McCaw and Bill Gates deep-sixed its plans to build a global broadband satellite network."


Very disappointing. For the last two years I've been talking about Teledesic in my keynotes. It's one of those things that would have changed everything fundamentally, especially in the way it would bring the internet to remote spots that will never see a cable truck. Like Iridium, this looks like a technology that was ahead of its time. Blame it on the economy, and you can blame the economy on whomever you choose. Drat!