Facebook to provide Africa with free internet using satellite Mark Zuckerberg confirms

Facebook to launch satellite to give free internet to Africa
The satellite will be launched next year (Picture: Mark Zuckerberg)

Facebook is going to provide remote parts of Africa with free internet using a special satellite.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the satellite was under construction and would be ready for launch into space in 2016 as part of the company’s free mobile data scheme Internet.org.

Users will be given free access to sites such as Wikipedia, BBC News and of course Facebook, but they’ll have to purchase ‘affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment’ first.

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‘Connectivity changes lives and communities. We’re going to keep working to connect the entire world – even if that means looking beyond our planet,’ Zuckerberg said.

The project marks the next step in the Internet.org initiative, with the company earlier this year testing solar-powered drones that could beam internet signal from the skies above the UK.

The scheme was created alongside partnering mobile carriers in parts of Africa, Asia and South America.

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Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during the Internet.org summit in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Zuckerberg said a lack of relevant local language content is the biggest barrier to the 4.4 billion people globally who don't have Internet access. Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg at the Internet.org summit in New Delhi, India (Picture: Getty Images)

But it’s not all positive, with Internet.org coming under fire from digital rights groups in countries including Uganda, Ecuador and Indonesia over net-neutrality concerns.

Facebook is developing the satellite with French firm Eutelsat.

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6 October 2015 | 8:54 am – Source: metro.co.uk

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