Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the next step in his Internet.org campaign — with the goal of bringing Internet to every corner of the world. Apparently, drones could be the answer.
"Our plan is to make basic internet services affordable so that everyone with a phone can join the knowledge economy." This is a project of Internet.org, which is made up of a global group of companies.
Earlier this week, Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook, "We're sharing some details of the work Facebook's Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone. ... We've made good progress so far. Over the past year, our work in the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people using mobile data."
But drones, lasers and satellites beaming down WiFi isn't going to be an easy task — after all, it is rocket science.
Earlier this month there were talks of Facebook acquiring Titan Aerospace, which has developed a drone that can stay in the air for five years using solar power.
Fox Business explains that NASA scientists are also helping with the efforts.
"To figure out, OK, how do we, if we have the drone ... how do you beam or get the WiFi connection to people on the ground? ... They're also looking at doing it from satellites from some kind of infra-red laser."
The Guardian talked to an Internet.org engineer, who explained: "In suburban environments, we are looking at a new type of plane architecture that flies at 20,000 metres, at the point where the winds are the lowest. It's above commercial airlines, it's even above the weather. They circle around and broadcast Internet down but significantly closer than a satellite."
As for now, there's no timeline on when those involved hope to get this thing off the ground, but CNN reports there's a huge market, as about two-thirds of the world's population doesn't have access to the Internet.
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