Facebook tests laser drones to bring internet to rural UK
internet.org campaign puts unmanned aircraft 60,000ft above the UK skies
Chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has announced the successful testing of solar-powered drone aircraft over the UK skies.
The drones have been used to beam down internet access and are designed to provide (better) internet connections to rural areas and to those areas without access at all.
The drones are able to fly at high altitudes (up to 60,000 feet) and were developed by Somerset based, Ascenta, who were bought out by Facebook in 2014. They have a wingspan equivalent to that of a Boeing 737, at 29 metres, but weigh less than the average car.
“As part of our Internet.org effort to connect the world, we’ve designed unmanned aircraft that can beam internet access down to people from the sky,” said Zuckerberg in a blog post. “We’ve successfully completed our first test flight of these aircraft in the UK.”
“Aircraft like these will help connect the whole world because they can affordably serve the 10% of the world’s population that live in remote communities without existing internet infrastructure,” continued Zuckerberg.
The drones are an element of Facebook’s internet.org campaign, which carries the intent to ‘connect the next billion people to the internet.’ Facebook’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) wing is already planning for the influx of new customers the technology is intended to attract, presumably with ‘cloud’ involvement.
We don’t suppose anyone spotted one flying at that height?!?
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