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.
‘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.
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.