Facebook will use satellites to bring broadband to large parts of Africa

In its latest effort to open up Internet access to developing markets, Facebook has partnered with French satellite company Eutelsat Communications. The ensuing initiative is scheduled for launch in the latter half of 2016, and will “leverage satellite technologies to get more Africans online”.
It will use the upcoming AMOS-6 satellite, a $200 million, 5-ton satellite built by Israel Aerospace Industries. Facebook and Eutelsat say they will create a system specifically aimed at bringing connectivity to large swaths of Sub-Saharan Africa, and that the system will be “optimised for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment.”
For this latest project,  Eutelsat is setting up a new company, based in London, to oversee the African satellite broadband rollout. Facebook says it will work with “local partners” across Africa to help deliver services, using both satellite and terrestrial capacity.
“Facebook’s mission is to connect the world and we believe that satellites will play an important role in addressing the significant barriers that exist in connecting the people of Africa,” said Chris Daniels, VP of Facebook’s Internet.org program. “We are looking forward to partnering with Eutelsat on this project and investigating new ways to use satellites to connect people in the most remote areas of the world more efficiently.”