As we mentioned in a previous blog, Facebook have been planning to implement satellite technology to bring internet access to more remote regions of the world. Now, Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled more details of the project, which is set to launch next year.
In collaboration with French satellite company Eutelsat, Facebook is purchasing the whole broadband capacity of the AMOS-6 satellite in order to deliver free basic internet to 14 countries in Africa which were previously without access. A lack of access to the internet has been a huge hindrance in the development of these countries; the move will hopefully help people in these areas of the world to enjoy greater communication, access to information, and networking and business opportunities.
Facebook have already helped millions of people in 19 developing countries to access the internet using mobile devices via its Free Basics by Facebook feature. However, this is not possible in many central parts of Africa as they are too far from the fibre optic cable systems which are largely located along coastal areas. The satellite will resolve this problem by delivering coverage across large areas of the continent.