But not all internet access is equal. In 2023, about a third of internet-enabled mobile devices will connect to 2G or 3G networks, Cisco predicts. That leaves about 4.5 billion people with no internet access or slower mobile connections than NASA astronauts would be using to virtually control lunar rovers and stream high definition video of their adventures.

Back on Earth, equitable access to the internet—mobile and otherwise—is making slow progress. Rural electric co-ops are working to connect their members to high-speed broadband and telecom companies are swatting down local efforts to give more people internet access. But the moon is already starting to get swept up into the hype around next-generation 5G networks.

In a press release announcing the 4G LTE contract, Nokia wrote that it plans “to pursue space applications of LTE’s successor technology, 5G.” That type of speed would, at long last, allow an astronaut to download the entire Dark Knight trilogy of Batman movies in less than 20 seconds.

Unfortunately for entertainment-starved space explorers, NASA seems to be more focused on “vital command and control functions” like real-time navigation and data transmission. Perhaps by 2028, when the space agency aims to establish a semi-permanent lunar base, the engineers will see the value of devoting some bandwidth to uploading their low-gravity dance moves to TikTok.

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