One of the biggest problems with satellite internet has always been bandwidth and latency. So ok, let me rephrase. Satellite internet has always been a problem for all the reasons. These reasons have always limited use cases, as synchronous communications are kind of important.
Modern equipment has had bandwidth limitations measured in the megabits per second, or even kilobits. Experimental results from Lincoln Laboratory have significant results that might change the nature of these kinds of communications, with their TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (ed: TBIRD?) system getting as much as 100 gigabits per second. If you’re doing the math at home, you’re probably noticing that is faster.
The devices are not without their limitations, as the only way to get these kinds of speeds is with laser light transmissions, which is obviously a problem if there are like, clouds. However a full deployment of these transfer stations both on the ground and in orbit could make routing around weather possible. The devices are small and, relatively speaking, inexpensive, so we can probably expect something like this to become reality sooner rather than later if further testing stays promising.