Facebook to launch Internet connectivity satellite

Zuckerberg says satellite will go up later this week, bring Internet connectivity to parts of sub-Saharan Africa

Facebook will launch a satellite later this week that executives hope will bring Internet connectivity to parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned the launch during a town hall discussion in Lagos, Nigeria with developers and members of the Facebook community.

While talking about building an infrastructure that would enable people anywhere in the world to access a signal, Zuckerberg said Facebook is launching a satellite to beam down connectivity.

"If you want to connect everyone in the world, then making sure that everyone has access to the Internet is a really important thing," Zuckerberg told the group in Nigeria. "It turns out that across the world, more than half of people don't have access to the Internet. Here in Nigeria that's true too."

In a visit to Africa largely focused on spurring entrepreneurship and developers, the Facebook CEO said he's been inspired by what the people he has met this week are trying to build, like the LifeBank app that is focused on mobilizing, inventorying and delivering blood donations.

"Whether what you care about is connecting people with their friends and family or helping people start business, the Internet is one of the most fundamental parts of infrastructure that needs to exist," he said.

Facebook has not yet responded to a request for information about the satellite launch.

The effort would fit with the company's expansive efforts to bring Internet connectivity to more of the world. Facebook executives frequently note that about 4 billion people around the globe - or 60% -- lack access to an Internet connection.

And for several years now, Facebook, along with rivals like Google, has been developing technologies to spread connectivity to rural and poor areas around the world.

Just this summer, Facebook announced that it had completed its first full test of a high-altitude, solar-powered, unmanned aircraft that beams Internet connectivity down to Earth using laser technology.

For the past three years, Facebook has been working with an organization it helped to create, initially called Internet.org and then renamed Free Basics.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Facebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?