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Facebook to deliver internet access to suburban areas by drones, satellites and lasers

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today, that a team at Facebook is working on new technologies to improve and extend internet access for suburban and low density areas.

In a statement released today, Mark Zuckerberg said, “Today, we’re sharing some details of the work Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone. Our goal with is to make affordable access to basic internet services available to every person in the world.”

The official press release said that Facebook has recently added some of the world’s experts on aerospace technology, including the team from Ascenta, a UK-based company with a deep expertise in designing and building high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) aircraft.

“The five-member Ascenta team has combined more than 100 years of experience in the aerospace industry, including leadership positions with QinetiQ, Boeing, Honeywell and the Harris Corporation. They have worked on noteworthy projects like the Breitling Orbiter and early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. Other recent additions to the team have come from organizations including NASA?s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA?s Ames Research Center, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.”

Facebook explained that team’s approached is based on the principle that different sized communities. Also, the Facebook said that they have been looking at what they call ‘Free-space optical communication (FSO) which will use light to transmit data through space using invisible, infrared laser beams. “FSO is a promising technology that potentially allows us to dramatically boost the speed of internet connections provided by satellites and drones,” Facebook said.

Since the focus is the suburban and lower density areas Facebook said, “For suburban areas in limited geographical regions, we?ve been working on solar-powered high altitude, long endurance aircraft that can stay aloft for months, be quickly deployed and deliver reliable internet connections. For lower density areas, low-Earth orbit and geosynchronous satellites can beam internet access to the ground.”

“We believe connecting the world is one of the greatest challenges of our generation, and that everyone deserves access to the knowledge, tools and opportunities that come from being connected.”


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