Facebook to launch first in ‘constellation of satellites’ as soon as ‘NEXT MONTH’ – The Sun
FACEBOOK is set to launch its first “constellation of satellites” as soon as “next month.”
The experimental launch would be the first part of a project to build a network of satellites providing worldwide internet access, Business Insider reported.
The project will “determine whether such satellite communications can effectively provide broadband to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world.”
Facebook told BI: “While we have nothing to share about specific projects at this time, we believe satellite technology will be an important enabler of the next generation of broadband infrastructure, making it possible to bring broadband connectivity to rural regions where internet connectivity is lacking or non-existent.”
BI reported the launch of what is called the Athena LEO project could take place as early as next month.
The ambitious proposal has been hampered by repeated delays and multiple scandals involving Mark Zuckerberg’s social network.
The series of satellites could rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX or OneWeb, according to Business Insider.
Facebook wrote to the FCC in 2016, according to BI, that “connecting the unconnected will require a wide variety of technical solutions.”
“For example, in dense urban areas, wireless terrestrial systems can efficiently serve end users and support backhaul links.
“In less dense areas, such as rural areas, where broadband infrastructure must be deployed over wide areas, using high altitude solar-powered aircraft to provide backhaul-type links to terrestrial aggregation points may be part of the optimal solution.”
The project is part of Facebook’s mission to “bring the world closer together,” as Zuckerberg put it in a long Facebook post in 2017.
“We all have the power to be leaders,” Zuckerberg wrote.
“And if enough of us work to build community and bring people closer together, we just might change the world.”
Facebook is coming off a strong fourth quarter and continues to add new users despite growing scrutiny.
“This is a company that has shown that it can withstand ongoing criticism of its practices and yet still pull out gains in both revenue and users,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said last month.
The social network was fined $5 billion last year by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations, the largest FTC fine ever for a tech company.
Zuckerberg has said that the company is shifting to a more “privacy-focused” future as it continues to face criticism for election interference.
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?