A little while back, Facebook announced plans to connect the entire world to high speed internet, through its Internet.org program. In a move that is both exciting and terrifying, with definite Skynet implications if you are that way inclined, drones will be utilised to deliver 10Gbps internet access to multiple users in previously unconnected areas.
The solar-powered drones are expected to deliver Internet connectivity using a mix of lasers and radio signals, and the company has made significant progress on their production. “I’m excited to announce we’ve completed construction of our first full scale aircraft, Aquila, as part of our Internet.org effort,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Aquila is “a very lightweight, very large wingspan aircraft capable of flying above normal airliners, above 60,000 feet, for up to three months at a time,” according to engineering lead, Andy Cox. The drones will communicate with each other to expand the range of their signal.
There is no confirmation as to when the drones will be moved from testing to full scale production, but a lot of effort appears to have been poured into the project, so it shouldn’t be too long I’d expect!