To illustrate how satellites can play a major role in providing free Internet around the world, Facebook has partnered with Eutelsat to beam Internet to 14 countries in Africa. The two companies will be joined by the Israeli firm Spacecom to maximize broadband payload on the AMOS-6 satellite. Facebook hopes to begin transmissions by the second half of 2016. The company is also working on Aquila, a 140-foot solar-powered unmanned plane that can deliver internet from 60,000 to 90,000 feet.
Facebook hopes to begin transmissions by the second half of 2016. The results of this test will serve as validation for the many major tech companies working on initiatives to bring the remaining population online. This initiative is expected to target more than 14 countries in the most densely populated parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.