Originally Posted by ToTheSun!
Ok, but those are not the ones we've been contemplating.
But they are the primary market for these satellites. It isn't aimed at improving gigabit FTTH, it's about providing internet service literally anywhere on the planet. You don't care if your emails are 10% slower than in a city if the alternative is not receiving them at all.
As far as latency goes, yes, short-range dedicated connections to the sorts of datacenters that powerusers like us care about likely aren't going to be replaced by satellites. It's STILL cheaper to make those connections in the ground (or undersea) rather than in space. It's why Facebook is building their own brand new personal cross-Atlantic optical cable, to reduce latency between its NA and EU datacenters so that updates to your Facebook page are spread globally within ever-fewer microseconds (Why, I'm still not sure, but hey, it's their couple hundred million bucks to spend, I guess).
It's still important to understand the physical layers of our networks though, which is why I'm here commenting at all. Lots of discussion about latency with little engineering basis, and some gross oversimplifications of the colossally complex and inefficient beast that is the modern telecom network.