The days are almost over when drones were solely utilized for military purpose, now they’ll soon be dishing out Internet access across the globe. At the Social Good Summit organized in New York on Monday, Yael Maguire, the Engineering Director at Facebook Connectivity Lab has further provided a quick rundown on the firm’s vision for Internet carrying drones; plan commences in 2015.
Mark Zuckerberg teamed-up with Internet.org to launch Facebook Connectivity Lab in March this year. The objective is to utilize solar-powered drones (UAVs) to dish out Internet to those parts of the globe which don’t have Internet. To make the concept a reality, the team needs solar powered UAVs that have the ability of flying for long spans of time at high altitudes. Facebook was trying to take over Titan Aerospace but was beaten by Google to own the company and finally acquired Ascenta – a UK based company working with solar powered UAVs.
Maguire says, ‘To make these planes to fly — pilotless planes that have to fly for months, or maybe years at a time — we literally have to fly above the weather, above all airspace. Specifically between 60,000 and 90,000 feet. Commonly, planes don’t fly there, and definitely not drones.’
Lots of companies — especially tech giants — are warming up for this venture that aims at dishing out Internet to the world. The top ones in this space are Facebook and Google and then there’s Quarkson as well. Maguire feels that following tests in 2015, the concept of Facebook’s Internet will turn into a reality in 3-5 years.