Connecting the unconnected in emerging markets is partly an exercise in reaching isolated and rural areas, it often is noted. But new work by Facebook suggests it is possible to reach 99 percent of the population, even in developing countries, by networks that reach out 39 miles from a city.
That is because some 99 percent of the population of 23 countries studied by Facebook live within 63 kilometers (39 miles) of the nearest city.
Facebook therefore believes that if it can “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.”
That is one reason why Facebook believes satellite and other aerial platforms such as Aquila unmanned aerial vehicles can play an important role in getting internet access to “everyone.”
More detailed data can be found here.