An agreement between Facebook and satellite service provider Eutelsat due to start in late 2016.

An agreement between Facebook and satellite service provider Eutelsat due to start in late 2016.

An agreement between Facebook and satellite service provider Eutelsat due to start in late 2016 will deliver free internet in Africa.

The leading social network had initially planned to launch its own satellites.

Eutelsat says that the satellite capacity will provide “Direct-to-User” internet access using off the shelf equipment, so users in even the remotest parts of Africa can get online.

Facebook is also working on giant drones for providing internet access in remote areas, but that technology has only just begun being tested in the real world.

The satellite internet access will be provided via Internet.org, the company’s non-profit foundation dedicated to getting the world online.

Internet adoption globally has been slowing, primarily due to the challenges getting remote regions online — Facebook plans to tackle those connectivity issues heads on with this new partnership.

Internet.org has been a recent subject of criticisms over net neutrality issues, which led to a number of companies dropping support for the service.

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