BBC Technology report on Facebook satellite plans omits Israeli aspect

When it comes to reporting on Israel-related topics, BBC Technology is usually one of the corporation’s better departments. It therefore came as something of a surprise to see that in his October 6th report titled “Facebook plans satellite ‘in 2016′“, BBC Technology’s North America reporter Dave Lee neglected to provide readers with a rather relevant piece of information concerning that story.FB satellite art

Lee has clearly read the announcement on the topic put out by Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.

“Facebook is to launch a satellite that will provide internet access to remote parts of Africa, the social network’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced.

In partnership with French-based provider Eutelsat, Facebook hope the first satellite will be launched in 2016.

“We’re going to keep working to connect the entire world – even if that means looking beyond our planet,” Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.”

But that announcement also includes information about the satellite itself – obviously a crucial part of the project.

“As part of our collaboration with Eutelsat, a new satellite called AMOS-6 is going to provide internet coverage to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. The AMOS-6 satellite is under construction now and will launch in 2016 into a geostationary orbit that will cover large parts of West, East and Southern Africa.”

As the Times of Israel and others have reported, the AMOS-6 satellite is produced in Israel.

“European satellite operator Eutelsat Communications and social media giant Facebook said Monday they are working jointly to deliver satellite broadband Internet to connectivity-hungry sub-Saharan Africa using an Israeli satellite.

The firms revealed they have reached a multi-year agreement with satellite communication firm Spacecom to use the entire broadband payload of the AMOS-6 satellite due to come on stream in the second half of next year and provide coverage for large swaths of sub-Saharan Africa, after identifying “pent-up demand for connectivity.”

The multi-million dollar AMOS-6 satellite, built by the Israel Aerospace Industries, will be ready for launch in 2016, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.”

Oddly, that information did not appear in the BBC’s report on the story.