Global communications company Viasat and social media behemoth Facebook are collaborating to accelerate the deployment of affordable, high-speed, high-quality internet to Mexican communities that lack reliable internet, or have no connectivity at all.
The collaboration is designed to help accelerate the deployment of Viasat’s satellite-enabled Community Wi-Fi hotspot service. As part of the deal Viasat will place high-speed satellite Wi-Fi hotspots - delivered as an affordable pre-paid service - at thousands of rural locations. Facebook is investing in the roll-out and working with Viasat to help identify optimal deployment locations within Viasat’s current and planned satellite coverage.
“Facebook is committed to working with industry partners around the world to help bring more people online to a faster internet,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, VP, Facebook Connectivity. “Viasat’s rapidly growing Community Wi-Fi hotspot service, already available to over one million people in rural Mexico, is an example of a model that can help overcome the global connectivity challenges of accessibility and affordability, particularly in hard to reach rural areas.”
Viasat reports that it is seeing rapid growth in its Community Wi-Fi service in Mexico. In less than one year since launch, Viasat has already brought the internet within reach to more than one million Mexican citizens - delivering up to 100 Mbits/s speeds at affordable prices. Today the Viasat Community Wi-Fi service leverages the high-capacity satellite, ViaSat-2, and the company is currently building a global constellation of three next-generation ultra-high-capacity satellites, known as the ViaSat-3 class of satellites.
The Viasat-Facebook collaboration will initially focus on Mexico, with an opportunity to expand globally.