Facebook and Project Aquila
What do you do when you have more money than you can possibly need in your lifetime? You benefit the world according to Mark Zuckerberg. According to a break in the New York times, we’ve learned that Facebook is building a wireless network that will change the earth forever. They’ll be using solar powered UAVs to deliver internet broadband to the United States. Facebook has pioneered the development of drones which have a wingspan of a commercial jet but weigh a little more than a Yaris.
Using high powered lasers to beam signals to ground stations, these drones will be flying for up to 3 months uninterrupted at a time all the while creating an invisible WiFi grid that will support purportedly coverage from an altitude as high as 90,000 feet above the earth all the while maintaining communication with other drones on the grid. Contracted by a British engineering company called Ascenta, Facebook plans to generate test flights as soon as this summer and begin rolling out full-time drones over the coming several years.
“The Amazons, Googles and Facebooks are exploring completely new things that will change the way we live,” said Ed Lazowska, who holds the Bill and Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. “There are other companies out there like Hewlett-Packard and IBM, but they aren’t doing the really huge things anymore.” source
The Great Race
Yes, there’s more. The plot thickens because while Facebook has a massive head-start on this technology and its deployment there is another competitor in this arena: Google. That’s right, Google is also working on deploying air-born WiFi in the form of enormous balloons that can achieve fiber optic internet speeds under the best conditions. It’s a curious time to see what the future will hold but as of right now it looks like the popular social network Facebook is leading the pack. In a world of daily technological developments and changes, mark this one down as the greatest development in the internet of this decade.