Facebook just built a gigantic solar-powered drone that will stay in the stratosphere for months at a time, beaming broadband Internet to rural and hard-to-reach areas
Facebook (FB, Tech30) will use the satellite to bring free Internet access to rural areas. The company is using satellites, lasers and drones to get the “next billion” people around the world online as part of its Internet.org initiative. It has already connected people in nearly 20 countries.
“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,” said Chris Daniels, VP of Internet.org, in a statement.
Facebook and Eutelsat are leasing the AMOS-6 satellite from Israeli company Spacecom. The two companies will share the satellite and use it for their own individual services. Eutelsat will expand its paid broadband connections in the region for businesses and well-off individuals.