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Facebook mapped everyone on Earth to get them online

From Engadget - September 1, 2017

Around half of the over 500 US satellites orbiting around Earth were launched for commercial reasons and because of groups like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit, launching satellites has never been cheaper. That makes the idea of a space-based internet delivery system a much more attainable reality than ever before. "Satellites are exciting for us. Our data showed the best way to connect cities is an internet in the sky," said Lewis.

While it has worked on generating its maps, Facebook's Connectivity Lab has released findings from the work. Last year, it released a dataset that included information on 23 countries. The team found that 99 percent of the population in those countries lived within 63 km of the nearest city. "Hence, if we are able to develop communication technologies that can bridge 63 km with sufficiently high data rates, we should be able to connect 99 percent of the population in these 23 countries," the Connectivity Lab's Tobias Tiecke wrote.

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