The SpaceX developing a new, low-cost, high-performance satellite bus to be used to implement a new space-based internet communication system.
SpaceX’s plan is to deploy a network of 4,000 small and cheap geosynchronous satellites to beam signals down to Earth. This approach would be easier to maintain than satellite Internet managed by Dish and DirecTV, which rely on just a few larger (and more expensive) satellites. If one of SpaceX’s satellites fails, there’s a huge amount of redundancy and it’s cheap to replace. It certainly helps that SpaceX has its own rockets that can be used to launch new satellites too.
These SpaceX satellites would be set up in a low-Earth orbit, allowing them to reach more areas and hand off connections to improve reliability and speed. One of the most significant issues with satellite Internet is latency — more than half a second for most services. Having satellites in a lower orbit with more interconnectedness will certainly help with that, but it’s not clear SpaceX’s system would be good enough for real-time applications.