Gone was the time when drones were only used for military purpose, now they will soon be providing Internet access to the whole globe. At the Social Good Summit organized in New York on Monday, Yael Maguire, the Engineering Director at Facebook Connectivity Lab has further outlined the firm’s vision for Internet carrying drones; plan starts in 2015.
Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook Connectivity Lab in March this year in collaboration with Internet.org. The idea is to make use of solar-powered drones (UAVs) to provide Internet to those parts of the globe which are without Internet. In order to materialize this concept, the team requires solar powered UAVs that are capable of flying for long spans of time at high altitudes. Facebook was aiming for Titan Aerospace but was beaten by Google to own the company and ended up acquiring Ascenta – a UK based company working with solar powered UAVs.
Maguire says, ‘In order for us to fly these planes — unmanned planes that have to fly for months, or perhaps years at a time — we actually have to fly above the weather, above all airspace. That’s between 60,000 and 90,000 feet. Routinely, planes don’t fly there, and certainly not drones.’
In short, a number of companies – tech giants actually – are getting warmed up for this endeavour which aims at providing Internet to the world. We have Facebook and Google at the top of it and then there’s Quarkson as well. Maguire is confident that after tests in 2015, the concept of Facebook’s Internet will transform into a reality within 3-5 years. Check out the youtube video below for more details.