Mark Zuckerberg’s dream to make the whole world connected could soon become a reality, as Facebook is all set to start testing its Wi-Fi Drones next year. With his collective efforts with NASA and tech giants like Samsung and Nokia, looks like Internet.org project could finally pay off.
Yael Maguire, engineering director at Facebook Connectivity Lab, talked about their plans on Wi-Fi Drones in a conversation with Pete Cashmore, Mashable CEO, at the 2014 Social Good Summit.
He said that the unmanned planes which will be roughly the size of a commercial aircraft like a 747, but much lighter, as they will have to fly for months at an altitude between 60,000 and 90,000 feet in order to make the drones fly above the weather and stay above all airspace. And, the drones will have to be solar-powered, since no fuel can make the planes fly that long.
The team put more emphasis on developing countries like India, where more than 15% of people have no sort of connectivity whatsoever. They have also identified about 21 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, which actually affect how sunlight hits the solar panel; the team would have to make few alterations in designs, I guess.
“We’re taking on a whole bunch of technical risk, but we’re also taking on whole bunch of regulatory risk, because there are no rules about flying planes outside of 60,000 feet and above. There are no rules about beaming signals down to people in those environments,” Maguire said.
Facebook is still working on policy that would adhere to countries’ respective rules and regulations, but as for who actually would deploy these Wi-Fi Drones – is still unsubstantiated. Who do you think would deploy these things?
- Source: Mashable
- Image: Facebook Connectivity Lab