And he’s using his company’s wealth to make sure, in Facebook’s own idiosyncratic way, to see that everyone in the world gets connected.
Facebook keeps its focus straight and is now closer than ever to its goal, which is connecting people by providing internet to underdeveloped countries and distant parts of the world.
Internet.org has been criticized for limiting what services people can access through the free smartphone app. It now includes free access to 60 services, including health and finance tools and, of course, Facebook. Sub-Saharan Africa in particular struggles to establish any sort of connectivity as fixed networks, requiring ground-laid fiber, are hard to implement, and various other regions across the continent have obstacles to overcome such as cable theft and resource access. In total, 14 countries will be reached throughout East, West and Southern Africa. According to a Facebook post from Mark Zuckerberg, the satellite will be launched in 2016, and is now set to “provide internet coverage to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa”. The two companies will split the entire capacity provided by the forthcoming AMOS-6 satellite under development by the Israeli satellite company Spacecom.
Facebook announced it is teaming with French communications company Eutelsat in a partnership to beam the Internet down to Africa from a satellite.
“Over the past year Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam internet access down into communities from the sky”.
So Eutelsat’s statement stood more as a spontaneous response, stating that its collaboration with Facebook will ultimately allow users to connect to the internet through “affordable, off-the-shelf” hardware. Eutelsat is planning on expanding its paid broadband service in the area for business people and well-off individuals in the region.
While the cost of providing Internet access has dropped dramatically in recent years, much of the world is still offline.
SAP does not work alone; Africa Code Week is supported by governments, educational organizations, NGOs, and software companies including Simplon.co, AMPION, the Galway Education Centre, the Cape Town Science Centre, the King Baudouin Foundation, and even Google, which joined as a strategic partner.