Facebook has axed its previously unknown plans to build a satellite, according to a news report.
Technology news site The Information reports that The satellite, had it been built, could have cost an estimated $500 million.
The plan was to use it to help provide cheap internet access in the developing world. But this price tag was apparently prohibitive, and the scheme has since been abandoned, before it was ever even announced.
The Information’s report, based on “a person with direct knowledge of the project and a person briefed about it,” says it would have been a geostationary satellite that could have helped provide internet access to dozens of countries.
Instead, it may now lease a satellite off another provider, if it does decide to push ahead with its plans.
Facebook is investing in projects like this and Internet.org to increase connectivity around the developing world to increase customers for their products.
It is also competing with Google, who has similar plans such as drones and its Project Loon initiative.
Facebook’s plans to bring internet access to the emerging markets have the potential to positively transform the countries targeted — but there’s also a direct financial incentive for the social networking giant. By providing the tools required to access the web, it can ensure it has first access to previously untapped markets of billions of people.