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in “ Tech news in brief ”,
July 14, 2021.

Facebook ditches satellite Internet

Atlas V.

Atlas V. © Amazon.com.

And the winner is…  According to The Information, Amazon has acquired, for an undisclosed sum, the team of Facebook employees who were working on providing Internet connectivity from low Earth orbit satellites. This move ends Facebook’s plans to provide Internet connectivity to remote areas via its own satellites.

Amazon first announced its intention to develop satellite Internet in 2019. The company said that it was going to invest US$ 10 billion to launch 3,236 satellites into low earth orbit by 2029. It then obtained FCC approval to operate the network last year, and planned to launch half of its satellites by 2026. However, the company has yet to launch any of its satellites into space. The Information reports that Amazon is building a research facility in Redmond, Washington, staffed with approximately 500 employees who are currently working on its Satellite Internet project. Amazon is one of a handful of tech companies trying to use satellites to provide Internet connectivity in parts of the world where it would be too expensive to install fixed infrastructure. SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is perhaps the best known, and eventually plans to launch nearly 12,000 satellites into orbit. It already offers the beta version of the Starlink service to a limited number of users, with some 1,000 satellites already in orbit.

The Verge, Jon Porter, “Facebook’s satellite internet team joins Amazon.”



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