Facebook Wants to Deliver Internet From Drones
New lab aims to 'beam Internet from sky'
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2014 12:14 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Facebook has followed up its leap into virtual reality with an ambitious plan to deliver the Internet around the world with drones, satellites, and lasers. "We've been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky," Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post explaining the work of Internet.org, a partnership between Facebook and telecoms firms like Nokia that aims to bring the Internet to the two-thirds of the world that doesn't have easy access. Zuckerberg says Facebook's "Connectivity Lab" has some of the world's leading aerospace experts on board, including talent from NASA and from solar-powered drone maker Ascenta, TechCrunch reports.

Facebook says at least 50 experts will work in its new lab developing "connectivity aircraft." Google, meanwhile, is working on its own plan to bring the Internet around the world with a network of balloons, and some observers see an element of competitiveness in Facebook's initiative. "The more I think about it—drones and virtual reality and the excessive amount of money they're paying for WhatsApp— they're making these decisions in lieu of having a solid business practice in place," a tech analyst tells the New York Times. "Sometimes I get the feeling that Facebook is really just trying to keep up with the Joneses."

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Lakeshia Davis
Mar 29, 2014 6:12 PM CDT
April Fools!
TomFlores
Mar 28, 2014 12:26 PM CDT
Well someone needs to do something do not look to the Telco they just want to sit back and collect the money. I used to live in the Denver metro area could not get Broadband wired had to go wireless. It was a matter of being on the wrong side of the highway by about a mile not enough density or so they said TV was the same Dish, Direct (Not that I am a big fan of Comcast) or over the air. The funny thing is where I live now Eastern El Paso County Colorado and have High speed internet via Centrylink (They did not put it in the Old Telco did) but the population dinisty is less than where I was living. I have heard of worst though a person (I do not recall where he was living) But he could not get anything except Dial up cell service would not even hit his house! Now here is the kicker the main Telephone line ran in front of his property and supplied high speed internet to the school a mile up the road. But he was told it was a dedicated line and could not be tap into. Got to love it! Even when I lived in Englewood, CO The Telco (Qwest) for years said I was not close enough to the telephone switching office to get high speed internet. That was until Comcast started to offer it then all of a sudden they said oh now we can offer it.
JackNelsonSteward
Mar 28, 2014 5:51 AM CDT
We'll be able to "orbit" (station) UAV's in the atmosphere soon enough. Solar powered high altitude craft that can harvest energy in the daylight and spiral to maximum altitudes for service delivery, then run on stored energy and spiral slowly down to the minimum altitude to provide coverage through the night can remain airborne for extended periods providing connection. I also think we'll see worldwide telephone communication shift to satellite connections. Either geosynchronous orbits or overlapping fields will let us route cell traffic worldwide without gaps. I'm really interested in WHO it is that is pursuing these advances. Google ... Facebook ..