Internet from Above – the Satellite that Could Help Bridge the Digital Divide

Image courtesy of Eutelsat

Two thirds of the world's population still does not have access to the internet. Many remote regions simply do not have the infrastructure in place. Facebook and Eutelsat are working on a satellite to change this.

Author Anna Rees, 10.26.15

Two thirds of the world’s population still does not have access to the internet. Many remote regions simply do not have the infrastructure in place. Facebook and Eutelsat are working on a satellite to change this.

It’s called AMOS-6 – the Facebook and Eutelsat satellite that will, next year, look to bring those without access to the internet online, as part of the internet.org initiative. The satellite will primarily cover countries that lie south of the Sahara and Facebook will work with a string of local and non-profit partners to make satellite access available.

Already this past summer, Facebook announced a plan to use huge solar-powered drones to bring the web to remote areas.

Expensive Devices, No Infrastrcuture and Unreliable Electricity

There are numerous reasons why so few people can connect to the web: devices are expensive; power supplies are limited; networks are weak or too far away from one another. Through the efforts of this initiative, more and more people will be able to go online, helping to bridge the digital divide and usher in new business and development possibilties.

Admittedly, the Facebook satellite is no altruistic gift. More internet users mean more potential Facebook users and thus making this a huge business opportunity for the social network giant. The cost of accessing the internet via AMOS-6 is also not yet clear.

Find out more about how satellites are assisting sustainable development via our Knowledge article Satellites: Environmental Protectors and Development Aids in Space?

Translated from this article by Hanadi which originally appeared on our German platform.

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