Looking to Aid Egyptians? Perhaps You Want to “Buy This Satellite”

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The Egyptian government may have shut off the internet on January 25, but they launched a big idea, that may change communications for the entire country.

Hoping for phone and internet connections that could never be shut off on a government’s whim, Kosta Grammatis created a non-profit called Buy This Satellite.

Ideally, he’d like to purchase a satellite and enable it to provide internet and phone service.  The satellite would be parked over Africa, bringing affordable communications to some of the world’s poorest countries. Grammatis even thinks he knows of an available satellite for purchase from a bankrupt country. He’s now hoping to raise $245 million.

(See TIME’s complete coverage of the Egyptian protests)

Given the role of social media in the uprisings in Tunisia and Africa, his idea’s urgency is rapidly drawing attention.

TIME’s Jim Fields spoke with Grammatis the night before the internet shut off in Egypt. Read the exclusive Q&A.