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Facebook On a Mission: Drones, satellites and lasers connecting people worldwide
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Facebook On a Mission: Drones, satellites and lasers connecting people worldwide

Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that Facebook, through the newly-established Connectivity Lab ...

Facebook On a Mission: Drones, satellites and lasers connecting people worldwide

Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that Facebook, through the newly-established Connectivity Lab division, is planning to finally make the Internet available to users all over the world. The announcement came on Thursday, only two days after the company announced its purchase of Oculus, a virtual reality headset producer.

 

Connectivity Lab's initiative is part of Internet.org, an international partnership launched last year, which aims to introduce drones, satellites and lasers. According to Zuckerberg's post, this is an attempt to make “Affordable access to basic Internet services available to every person in the world.”

 

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Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook's team has been working alongside NASA Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center experts, as well as with “key members of the team from Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft.”

 

In two videos released yesterday by Internet.org, we see a clear description of how everything is to function. The first video shows a detailed simulation of a flying drone, while the other provides a thorough description of Connectivity Lab's involvement.

 

According to the videos, Facebook's plan is to use drones adapted to fly at high altitudes, which will enable connectivity coverage over suburban areas. These drones are solar-powered, meaning they can fly up to five years without a change of battery. Areas of lower density, on the other hand, will be accessed through low-orbiting satellite beams.

 

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The drones and satellites will be in continual communication, delivering data through what is known as Free-space Optical Communication (FSO). According to Internet.org, “FCO is a promising technology that potentially allows us to dramatically boost the speed of Internet connections provided by satellites and drones.”

 

So far, Internet.org has already managed to connect three million new Internet users, mainly from the Philippines and Paraguay. Facebook is headed at high speed towards making its grand plan--to connect the world--come true.

 

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