Amazon has poached a team of more than a dozen satellite internet experts from social media platform Facebook as it aims to deliver high-speed broadband.
The ecommerce giant has already invested $10 billion in a project to build low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites which are capable of delivering high speed internet to the planet.
The acquisition of Facebook staff, which included physicists, hardware and software engineers, essentially spells the end of the platform’s efforts to deliver the same LEO-based internet network.
As part of the deal, Amazon will acquire intellectual property produced by Facebook’s team, as well as landsites and equipment.
Amazon is in competition with Elon Musk’s intergalactic venture SpaceX and its satellite network, Starlink as well as OneWeb and Eutelsat.
The Federal Communications Commission gave Amazon permission to launch 3,236 LEO satellites in July 2020 as part of an operation coined Project Kuiper.
Amazon has said it will require 578 LEO satellites in orbit before the service will be available to launch online.
A spokesperson familiar with the matter told Insider that Facebook will keep working with partner companies like Eutelsat and pursuing its other efforts to expand internet access.
The news comes in good time as Amazon’s widely used Amazon Web Service (AWS) has suffered several outages in the past two months.