It’s now clear that we will not need to physically wire the planet. Satellites, possibly aided by drones and balloons, will get the job done a lot faster. The major internet and space technology corporations, among others, have confirmed multibillion-dollar investments to bring low-cost broadband internet to every square metre of Earth’s surface within 10 years. They are building the railway tracks and freeways of the 21st century — but at global scale, and with breathtaking speed. Five billion human minds are about to come online, mostly via sub-$50 smartphones. And unlike the 2-billion who preceded them, their first experience of the internet may not be clunky text, but high-resolution video and a fast connection….more