Oct 06, 2015 12:56 AM EDT
Facebook is moving to connect Africa to the World Wide Web as the race to put more of the world’s remaining 57 per cent of disconnected users online continues. The networking company has partnered with French satellite company Eutelsat on getting more of Africa online using its wireless satellite technology.
The service, which aims to bring free Internet to fourteen more countries in the Western, Eastern, and Southern regions of Africa, will be leasing the AMOS-6 satellite in order to achieve its goals. The satellite is owned by Israeli company Spacecom, and the project aims to launch by the third quarter of 2016.
According to a report by CNN Money, Facebook has released information that aims to utilize not just satellites, but also drones and lasers. Facebook also started “Project Loon,” which is an initiative to use hot-air balloons to bring WiFi to otherwise unreachable areas. The networking site is also working on building and launching Aquila, an unmanned plane capable of providing WiFi access from 60,000 to 90,000 feet off the ground. Aquila, according to a report by Engadget, will be solar-powered and is projected to measure 140 feet long.
Indeed, Facebook is working hard in expanding its development initiatives, to help connect the world further.
So far, Facebook’s efforts to bring Internet access to at least 1 billion more potential Facebook users had reached 20 countries by now. With 14 more countries added to their plans, it would reach a total 34 countries by the second half of 2016. It looks like Facebook is working on overdrive to see that Internet reaches their targeted 1 billion more users, “by drone, by satellite, by plane, by lasers, or by balloons.”
Surely, with Facebook heavily investing on bleeding-edge technology, more avenues to deploy WiFi will unfold over the coming years, and they will not just inch, but possibly rocket towards their goal of connecting billions more people to the Internet, and consequently, on Facebook.
More on CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/05/technology/facebook-africa-satellites/
More on Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/05/facebook-free-internet-satellite-africa/
Facebook’s Aquila on Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/30/facebook-aquila-solar-plane-internet/
The UN Broadband Commission Report: http://www.droidreport.com/un-report-more-half-worlds-population-still-has-no-regular-internet-access-11291
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