Mark Zuckerberg has a plan for his vision to connect the 4 billion people out there that are not on the Internet. Facebook’s announcement to develop a ‘connectivity lab’ to connect with the world will be assisted by drones reported on DSL reposts today.
The plan to use solar-powered drones and other ‘connectivity aircraft’ will be developed in the new lab with 50 aeronautics experts and space scientists to figure out how to accomplish this vision.
The rumored buy of Titan Aerospace has not been completed and no word on that deal. Titan Aerospace would deliver drones capable of months and years flying up to twelve miles over land in the difficult terrain that Zuckerberg wants to make available to Internet connection. For the lower density areas Facebook is looking at low-Earth orbit and geosynchronous satellites to beam the Internet to the ground.
Facebook has been able to purchase Ascenta, a British company, with drones as a piece to fit into the puzzle of developing connectivity. Last Oct. Facebook purchased Onavo to provide for compression of data via their apps. The most recent prior purchase in February was the WhatsApp deal for $19 billion. Zuckerberg talked about the deal at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress and his vision for Internet.org.
All of the pieces to put Internet connection together require ‘Free –space optical communication’ technology using invisible, infrared laser beams. Facebook released the following statement: ‘FSO is a promising technology that potentially allows us to dramatically boost the speed of internet connections provided by satellites and drones.’
The person to develop the new lab for development of internet Connectivity Lab to access from the sky is led by Yael Maguire, engineering director.
The new lab is the base for the decade long vision to deliver compressed Internet data which can cut costs of mobile phones and reach out to people who can’t afford Internet connection.
Brian Blau, an analyst at the research firm Gartner states that, ‘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.’
Maguire is posting a video ad on Internet.org to recruit talent for this long range.
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Twitter: Victoria Wagner@victoriaross888