A fleet of about 11,000 Facebook drones may just be the quickest and easiest way to tap into the billions of potential Facebook users without Internet access in the remote corners of the world. It seems as if the buzz points to Facebook being in talks to buy Titan Aerospace, the people who make the drones. These drones would be the best technology to date to get Facebook out to those folks who cannot access the online world, according to CNN News on March 4.
Google has their Project Loon, which is in the testing mode right now, but basically doing the same thing. Google is using the high-flying balloons to bring Internet access to the untapped rural masses. It seems Mark Zuckenberg, the CEO of Facebook, sees the drones as the next big jump in growth for his social network.
If the rumors are true and Facebook is on its way to plugging the next billion into the online world, then these drones will have some flying to do. The drones that are made by Titan store up enough energy in their batteries during the day to keep the drone up there flying through the night.
The drones can also carry 250 pounds of payload and they can be repositioned rapidly, unlike the balloons that Google is in the process of testing. When repairs are needed, a landing and launching of another drone can be done in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Once again done with much more ease than if you needed to bring down a balloon and replace it.
These high flying drones would be up about 10 miles above sea level where wind and storms are not an issue. It is also a space that the FAA does not regulate, they go up to 60,000 feet only.
The deal is reportedly going to cost Facebook $60 million, which is much less than what they just paid for the WhatsApp. This WhatsApp purchase has confused folks as to why Facebook paid so much for a messaging app. Could the potential use of the drones have something to do with that purchase?
There is still up to two billion people that are not connected to the web and the use of drones can bring that number down greatly, or at least that will be the hopes if this Titan purchase is the real deal! The future for those folks living in the remote areas of the globe may be the Internet coming soon from the drone 10 miles above them.