Facebook’s solar-powered drones will provide free internet access to remote regions
Facebook is looking for social-networking dominance for quite some years now, and doing pretty good to be frank. But Mark Zuckerberg is not content with that success and wants to extend it beyond anyone’s reach. Almost a year ago Facebook was speculated to be making a solar-powered drone that provides internet to the remote areas of Earth. Now, it’s no more a speculation as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced the development of drones that will bring internet to billions of people around the world. This revelation was made during the F8 conference at Ford Mason in San Francisco.
Facebook has codenamed this project as Aquila and the drone(s) that will be used to bless seamless internet from the skies up above will have a wingspan equivalent to a Boeing 767 airliner. This high-tech solar-powered drone will be made from lightweight material which makes its weight less than a car. According to Mark the drone will stay afloat for three months in one go before touching ground for maintenance. Now that is an incredible claim, and if it is anywhere close to that period, we could be looking at a sort of record.
To make this project a possibility Facebook acquired drone-maker Ascenta for their UAV making prowess which makes extended flight times a possibility. And Facebook has ventured on this project with the aim to provide free internet to users worldwide because it’s their ultimate aim.
The drone is going to beam internet access from 60,000-90,000 feet using lasers and also connect to other drones to ensure seamless internet connectivity. Facebook is looking to initiate test flights sometime during this summer and then push for first commercial launch in the coming years.
Yael Maguire, head of Facebook’s Connectivity Lab said:
We want to serve every person in the world” with high-speed Internet signals. Can we reach a point where everyone on the planet gets the same message at once? I’m looking forward to that day.
Scott Kessler, an analyst with S.&P. Capital IQ added:
Like Google, Facebook gets a pass, because they’ve defied critics and are run by visionary leaders looking out five or 10 years. Still, people would like to know what this costs, and if it makes money.