Posts: 12,795 +124
Facebook has provided an update on the progress of Internet.org, the social network’s initiative to deliver Internet connectivity to parts of the world that currently lack the necessary infrastructure to do so.
As you’re likely already aware, Facebook’s plan is to use massive drones to beam connectivity down to people below. The concept isn’t all that different from Google’s Project Loon although the two are going about it in very different ways.
The actual hardware that Facebook will use, codenamed Aquila, consists of large solar-powered drones with wingspans comparable to a Boeing 767 jet. Because they’ll fly for months at a time, Facebook is constructing them out of lightweight materials. All said and done, a single massive drone will weigh less than a small car.
Facebook said its drones will use lasers to beam Internet connectivity to people on the ground 60,000 to 90,000 feet below. These lasers will also be used between drones as a form of communication to maintain a blanket of Internet connectivity over a given region.
The social network expects to eventually launch roughly 1,000 of these drones to connect the rest of the world. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company has successfully completed their first test flight of the aircraft in the UK. Further testing will take place over the summer and gradually roll out to new regions in the coming years.