From the Toronto Star, June, 12, 2015, ‘Elon Musk working to build internet service provider in space‘
“Mars is going to need a global communications system, too,” he said in his January remarks. “A lot of what we do developing Earth-based communications can be leveraged for Mars, as well, as crazy as that may sound.”
I personally feel we’ll only be getting early human exploration of Mars at the end of my lifetime, with various robotic/remote exploration in the meantime. But solving the huge challenges involved in such an undertaking (eventual colonization) will have, largely, really positive spillover effects for us on Terra.