Facebook to launch own Internet satellite in 2019

WIRED reported that Facebook will launch Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, as part of its plan to connect billions of people who are still offline.

On Friday, the report said that according to an application Facebook appears to have filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the name PointView Tech LLC, the project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world”.

“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,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement.

Facebook is not the only one who are aiming to increase Internet accessibility through satellites in low Earth orbit. Two other prominent names with similar ambitions are Elon Musk”s SpaceX and Softbank-backed OneWeb.

Earlier, A documentary series, Channel 4 Dispatches revealed that moderators at Facebook are protecting far-right activists by preventing their pages from getting deleted even after they violate the rules set up by the social media giant.

Called ‘shielded review’, the process was discovered by the documentary after they sent an undercover reporter to work as a content moderator in a Dublin-based Facebook contractor.

“In the documentary, a moderator tells the ‘Dispatches’ reporter that Britain First’s pages were left up, even though they repeatedly broke Facebook’s rules, because ‘they have a lot of followers so they’re generating a lot of revenue for Facebook’,” the Guardian reported.

A Britain’s First was banned in March 2018.

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