Internet for all: Facebook to start testing Wi-Fi drones next year

dronesBoth Facebook and Google are battling it out to become the first high-profile company to bring Internet connectivity to remote locations around the world, with the social networking giant this week revealing further details of its drone-based initiative that it hopes will enable it to achieve its goal.

The bold project, which could see drones take to the skies by 2019, is part of the Facebook-backed Internet.org initiative, with mobile-related companies such as Samsung, Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson, and MediaTek also involved.

Helping Internet.org toward its mission aim is the Connectivity Lab, a team of experts assembled to help build the necessary technology so it’ll be able to “beam Internet to people from the sky” – as Mark Zuckerberg once put it – from drones capable of staying airborne for months at a time. Satellites could also be used, as well as free-space optical communication (FSO) technology, which uses light to transmit data through space via invisible, infrared laser beams.  More

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