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Connecting the World Using Solar

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Do you have bad internet connection speeds or do you even get an internet connection at all?

Well, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are well aware of the problems faced by people living in rural areas. They have a plan to the rescue a third of people who have poor connection and those who have no connection at all. Mark Zuckerberg announced a successful flight of an unmanned drone over the UK, powered entirely by solar. Facebook are aiming to fly the drones for up to 6 months at a time, with an altitude of 65,000 feet, much higher than commercial airlines. The drone will sit in a layer of the atmosphere with stable weather conditions which means it can conserve power whilst at the same time store power generated by it’s solar panels.

Facebook Drone

The test flight comes as part of the Facebook-led initiative ‘Internet.org’ which aims to connect people to an ever expanding world. It aims to connect more people to Facebook’s 1.3 billion strong network and basic services such as weather apps and libraries. Internet.org has a range of participants including Samsung, Nokia, Opera, Ericsson and a few more.

The unmanned aircraft will be able to beam internet connections down to rural areas using laser technology, which could serve 10% of the worlds population who don’t have an existing internet infrastructure. The drones have been developed by Somerset-based company Ascenta, which was bought by Facebook in 2014 for £12m. Facebook aim to fly the drone as low as possible to increase the strength of the connection but at the same time keep the drone out of commercial airspace to ensure a quick deployment.

So for anybody who is gritting their teeth waiting to load an episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix, the days of waiting might be long gone if Zuckerberg and co can make this public!

 

For more information see the official press release from Facebook here.

Information and Images sources: ITV News, The Independent, The Telegraph and Internet.org

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