Facebook is planning to launch its own internet satellite called Athena early in 2019, the aim of this project is to connect billions of people who are still offline.
More information was revealed on the project according to an application that filed by Facebook with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the name PointView Tech LLC, it stated that the project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world.”
You will recall that this kind of project is also been embarked upon by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Softbank-backed OneWeb, this means Facebook is not alone. But the report shows that Athena is owned by Facebook.
Concerning the project, a Facebook spokesperson said,
“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.”
This is not the first time Facebook will be embarking on this kind of mission, as the previous attempt did not yield the desired results.
Facebook announced in June that it will abandon its plan to develop high-flying solar-powered drones called Aquila that were aimed to deliver Internet to nearly four billion people in remote parts of the world. According to Mark Zuckerberg, Aquila’s mission was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.
Aquila began in 2014 and by 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight. That same year, Facebook discontinued a small helicopter drone project that could temporarily replace cellular services in emergency situations.
Am wishing them all the best on this one.