Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Facebook announce plans for free internet in Africa

Facebook has been one of the forerunners promoting Internet for All. This is an effort to accelerate the rate of connectivity by addressing the various barriers keeping people from getting online. It is an initiative for bringing internet to remote parts of the world. Following in the footsteps of Google with the Loon project, Facebook has just partnered with Eutelsat to provide internet access for up to 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa using satellite technology.

In a press release, French communications firm Eutelsat said the two companies will work with Spacecom, to utilise the broadband payload on the future AMOS-6 satellite. This will be deployed in 2016, and Facebook plans to work with local partners across Africa to deliver these services to rural areas.
In the words on Mark Zukerberg:

I'm excited to announce our first project to deliver internet from space. As part of our Internet.org efforts to connect the world, we're partnering with Eutelsat to launch a satellite into orbit that will connect millions of people.

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.

As part of our collaboration with Eutelsat, a new satellite called AMOS-6 is going to provide internet coverage to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. The AMOS-6 satellite is under construction now and will launch in 2016 into a geostationary orbit that will cover large parts of West, East and Southern Africa.

We're going to work with local partners across these regions to help communities begin accessing internet services provided through satellite.
This is just one of the innovations we're working on to achieve our mission with Internet.org. 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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