The areas where internet services are not served or served but not too good coverage.
Facebook has, in the past, already cooperated with some companies to beam Internet from high above, although the results were not as they wanted it to be. However, at that time, Facebook remained silent about the project but now the company has made it official that its satellite-based internet project, “Athena” is in fact under development by its subsidiary PointView Tech. Softbank-backed OneWeb and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are some of the competitors with similar ambitions. And the company hopes to launch other satellites (estimated to be thousands in number) for the project. The other option of using geostationary satellites, is not feasible as the connection speed is relatively slow. Geostationary satellites are used to provide internet services. Past experiments have included both a geosynchronous satellite (that blew up) and solar-powered gliders that didn’t work out.
The company has confirmed it intends to launch its satellite in early 2019. Both SpaceX and OneWeb aim to beam internet down via satellite to underserved communities; SpaceX launched the first two of a planned large fleet of Starlink satellites for this objective in February, and received FCC approval for the plan in March.
While Facebook had long expressed its cherished goal of connecting billions of underserved people around the world, it has not had much success with two earlier projects. This furthermore confirms that Facebook is a supporter of satellite internet technology.
Athena would orbit around earth at an altitude between 100 – 1250 miles.
Teledesic funded by Bill Gates attempted launching satellite internets in the 1990s but left the project due to challenges. The company said it would no longer develop its own high-flying autonomous drones, which were partly powered by solar energy and created to fly for long periods of time and transmit the internet to remote parts of the Earth and the underserved developing countries.