Elon Musk and his SpaceX wants to deliver 4,425 satellites to space, forming a mesh capable of providing gigabit internet to every part of the world.
These satellites will operate between 1,110 kilometres to 1,325 kilometres altitude. This helps the satellites achieve the record low latency of 25ms. Current generations of satellites have a latency of more than 600ms. At 25ms this would be faster than DSL, but fibre to the home is still the king.
At a broadband infrastructure hearing by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Technology, SpaceX’s VP of Satellite Government Affairs, Patricia Cooper, explained how SpaceX wants to build the network:
Later this year, SpaceX will begin the process of testing the satellites themselves, launching one prototype before the end of the year and another during the early months of 2018. Following successful demonstration of the technology, SpaceX intends to begin the operational satellite launch campaign in 2019. The remaining satellites in the constellation will be launched in phases through 2024, when the system will reach full capacity with the Ka- and Ku-Band satellites. SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle.
Facebook had similar plans but SpaceX literally blew them apart. One of their rockets blew up late last year, destroying the satellite.