Monday, 5 October 2015

Facebook Plans to Launch an Internet-Beaming Satellite

Facebook plans to launch an Internet beaming satellite into space next year that will bring online access to people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Over the last year Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam internet access down into communities from the sky. To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies," CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.
Facebook and Eutelsat, a satellite operator, announced their collaboration today on a new satellite called the Amos-6, which will launch into a geostationary orbit next year, beaming Internet into communities that do not otherwise have access.
Under a multi-year agreement with satellite maker Spacecom, both companies will share the broadband payload on the Amos-6 to help accelerate connectivity in parts of Africa. Eutelsat said in a statement that the Internet will be optimized for users getting online -- perhaps for the first time ever -- through "affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment."
While Zuckerberg has long said it is his mission to help connect the world, this latest announcement comes following a United Nations report last month which found 57 percent of the world's population is offline and unable to take advantage of the social and economic development opportunities the Internet provides.
"This is just one of the innovations we’re working on to achieve our mission with Internet.org," Zuckerberg wrote. "Connectivity changes lives and communities. We’re going to keep working to connect the entire world -- even if that means looking beyond our planet."

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