Facebook Plans to Launch an Internet-Beaming Satellite Next Year


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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.

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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."

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