‘Buy This Satellite’ campaign will take time
By now, many Internet users interested in human rights or non-profits are probably aware of A Human Right’s campaign to buy an old TerreStar satellite. The publicity generated by the story (features on ABC News, Gizmodo, al-Jazeera, NRK Norway, 1000+ tweets and 1,600+ Facebook fans) is great for raising awareness, but is the project viable like the organizers promise? One obstacle revolves around the TerreStar Networks bankruptcy plan – something that was just delayed in court. Conflicts among creditors may throw a kink in plans to auction the satellite.
Apart from TerreStar’s struggle with bankruptcy logistics, the ‘Buy This Satellite’ project seems feasible (and the qualified team behind it appears to have done plenty of research), but donations alone will take a while to get this project off the ground. The organizers have planned three phases of the project, but the second and third phases require an initial $150,000. for fees, planning, and securing larger investments. Two days ago, the campaign saw $28,000 donated by 464 donors. Today, however, the totals stand at only $28,266 raised by 476 donors. Hopefully the giving rate will increase, although it is unlikely given the decline in viral attention. Even if the project doesn’t get off the ground, due to a lack of $150,000 or by a failed bid to acquire the satellite, the group will use the donations to build another free Internet solution, buy another satellite, or simply promote free networks. Not bad.
As an aside, many of the YouTube comments for the ‘Buy This Satellite’ video suggest ignorance, even if they are joking in nature. Gotta love YouTube commenters:
- DEAR GOD!!!!! WHAT WILL THE AFRICANS DO WITHOUT LOLCATS!!!111!!!
- If this means I’ll get a signal when I go on a safari. Then I totally support it!
- I’m sure the “third world” has more immediate priorities than internet access. Like feeding themselves, getting access to medicines and doctors, stuff like that…