Space News has details on what appears to be Google’s bid to provide global Internet services:
A company in Britain’s tax-friendly Channel Islands and backed by Google and the founder of satellite broadband trunking provider O3b Networks has secured radio-spectrum rights to build a low-orbit satellite constellation to provide global broadband to individual consumers, industry officials said.
The company, which uses the name L5 in its regulatory filings and is registered in St. Helier, Jersey, under the name WorldVu Satellites Ltd., has picked up Ku-band spectrum initially planned for use by a now-defunct company called SkyBridge to launch a constellation of 360 small satellites for a global Internet service.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Geneva-based United Nations affiliate that regulates satellite orbital slots and wireless broadcast spectrum, shows L5 filings as promising to start service in late 2019.
The satellites, tentatively designed to operate in a circular orbits of 800 and 950 kilometers inclined 88.2 degrees relative to the equator, have been given regulatory deadlines of between late 2019 and mid-2020 to enter service, according to ITU records.
The constellation is smaller than rumored. Parabolic Arc had heard that Google might launch up to 1,200 satellites.