In the wake of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations, internet connectivity has become a hot topic. Appearing in four out of seventeen goals, global connectivity to the internet is a massive step towards development in rural and impoverished areas. Leading this discussion is Facebook mogul and creator Mark Zuckerberg. In August 2013, Zuckerberg launched internet.org, “a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, nonprofits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn’t have internet access.”
In March, the internet.org unveiled a massive drone designed to provide broadband services to remote parts of the planet. The drone, which is built by Ascenta and has a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737, is only designed to stay in the air for months at a time, a potentially problematic design.
On Monday, Facebook revealed that it’s taking measures to remedy this problem by launching a satellite to provide internet from orbit. Partnering with French satellite company Eutelsat, this satellite AMOS-6 will provide internet coverage to vast portions of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Follow Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page to stay updated on the project.
Zuckerbug isn’t the only big player seeking to bring internet to the globe. Google’s “Project Loon,” is a similar attempt at global connectivity using balloons. While these efforts are clearly competitive and partially business driven, we are still thrilled at the thought of people all over the globe having access to the world wide web. With global internet connectivity comes the potential for shared ideas, not just in terms of creation and business, but for health care and education too. We wish both companies the best of luck.