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October 6, 2015

Facebook goes into orbit with Eutelsat, beams Internet to Africa

News: Offering satellite supported Internet access is part of Facebook's Internet.org initiative.

By CBR Staff Writer

Facebook has partnered with French communication satellite operator Eutelsat to offer internet services in Africa using satellite technologies.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company will be launching its first satellite by next year in order to ensure internet access to the remote parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Both the companies have signed multi-year agreement with Spacecom, to use the entire broadband payload on the future AMOS-6 satellite to offer the services in the region.

In his own Facebook post, Zuckerberg said: "We’re going to keep working to connect the entire world — even if that means looking beyond our planet.

Eutelsat said: "The capacity is optimised for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment.

"Eutelsat and Facebook will each deploy Internet services designed to relieve pent-up demand for connectivity from the many users in Africa beyond range of fixed and mobile terrestrial networks."

This satellite launch is a part of the firm’s Internet.org project.

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Internet.org VP Chris Daniels said: "Facebook’s mission is to connect the world and we believe that satellites will play an important role in addressing the significant barriers that exist in connecting the people of Africa.

"We are looking forward to partnering with Eutelsat on this project and investigating new ways to use satellites to connect people in the most remote areas of the world more efficiently."

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