Given the company’s plans to acquire a telecommunications satellite to increase its coverage throughout the African continent, does Facebook plans to become more than just a mere social media network?
By: Ringo Bones
Facebook wants to become much more than a social media network – founder Mark Zuckerberg announced this week announced this week that the company is also building a satellite to improve internet access for parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The move is part of Facebook’s initiative with Internet.org to bring free web services to people living in remote regions. A new satellite called Amos-6 will make the web accessible from big chunks of sub-Saharan Africa orbiting over the continent and serving what Zuckerberg characterized as “large parts of west, east and southern Africa.
“Over the last year, Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam internet access down into communities from the sky” Zuckerberg wrote. “To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies.” Even though he had visited India before, Mark Zuckerberg’s recent visit to India got better press attention this time around because he and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed on how universal internet access could serve as a tool to eliminate extreme poverty. Could a dedicated Facebook telecommunications satellite make such promise a reality?