Sharon Pian Chan reports in this morning’s Seattle Times on the rise and fall of Teledesic, the Internet in the Sky company that had Bill Gates, Craig McCaw and the Saudi prince as investors.
In the post-bubble world, it may seem ludicrous that anybody would have put money into such a wildly ambitious scheme. But at the time of Teledesic’s genesis, most connections to the Internet were simple dial-up modems that poked along at a fraction of today’s speeds ˜ if you were lucky. The Internet had just begun to take off; traffic was said to be doubling every 100 days. Then-Vice President Al Gore was proclaiming that the emerging digital divide needed an immediate remedy.