Facebook Internet Satellite
Image Courtesy of Allure
  • Facebook confirmed that it is working on its own satellite launch that will help the social media company bring internet to the masses.
  • The satellite project dubbed Athena has been heavily rumored in the past and was kept under wraps by Facebook until now.
  • The company revealed that more details about the satellite project will be revealed in the near future when the infrastructure is ready.

Facebook’s heavily rumored secret satellite project has finally been confirmed by the social media company. Rumors about the project began to surface after people from the IEEE Spectrum spilled the beans on the project about the experimental satellite. The project seeks to offer internet access to areas that lack basic connectivity. The satellite is expected to use millimeter wave radio signals for data transfer.

Facebook officially confirmed that they are working towards launching their satellite project soon. A spokesperson revealed, “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.”

Journalists were able to get more information about the project by taking assistance from the Freedom of Information Act. Emails from the FCC reveal that Facebook intends to launch its first Athena satellite by 2019, which is quite impressive going by how little time the project has been in the works for. It is likely that the project will be announced publicly at the next Facebook F8 conference in 2019.

Facebook has not only been working on satellite technology to provide internet to rural areas, but their recent attempts to implement their Terragraph project with Qualcomm has also been quite successful. Other projects like their Aquila drone-based internet operations did not find much success, unfortunately. Other companies are also attempting to offer high-speed internet to rural areas with SpaceX and OneWeb set to launch thousands of small satellites that can offer beam internet to users.

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