Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is working with Satellite company Eutelsat to offer broadband connectivity via Wi-Fi in Ghana and 11 other African countries.
The project is to use Facebook’s paid-for Express Wi-fi platform to connect thousands of people in sub-Saharan Africa via Eutelsat’s Konnect service.
The eleven other African countries to benefit from the project are the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR), Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
General Manager of Eutelsat’s Konnect Africa, Philippe Baudrier said: “This initiative is the perfect example of the power of satellite connectivity to bridge the digital divide, with unmatched economic and social benefits. We are proud once again to leverage the unparalleled coverage of Eutelsat Konnect to satisfy this growing demand.”
Eutelsat and Facebook have previously conducted successful satellite pilots in rural and underserved areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) enabling local businesses to offer affordable internet access to customers on a pre-paid basis.
To date, Eutelsat’s use of the Express Wi-Fi platform has enabled access to affordable broadband for thousands of individuals across the DRC, said the Paris-based satellite company.
Facebook’s head of connectivity policy for sub-Saharan Africa, Fargani Tambeayuk, “At Facebook, we’re committed to working with partners to help expand connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, which continues to be the region with the highest coverage gap,’
He added that ‘Connectivity is essential to ensuring access to jobs, education, healthcare and more.’
Facebook’s Express Wi-fi is already used in more than 30 countries, including in multiple Asian, South American and African markets, said Facebook.