In its effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, Facebook is working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky.
The idea behind this initiative is to eliminate all obstacles that prevent new users from accessing the Internet and, of course, Facebook’s own services.
Facebook recently renamed its free Internet services as Free Basics. It provides free basic services in markets where Internet access may be less affordable. It allows people to browse selected health, employment and local information websites without data charges. Facebook is also developing an unmanned plane named Aquila which will have the same wingspan as a Boeing 737. This aircraft will be solar-powered and this will let is stay up for months on end.
Facebook’s free-wi-fi strategy includes not only drones, but also low-earth-orbit satellites and even infrared laser beams to boost internet connections in remote areas.
In a bid to make connectivity universal Facebook, very recently, had announced its intention to launch a satellite in partnership with France’s Eutelsat Communications to bring Internet access to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Part of the Internet.org platform, AMOS-6 is under construction and will be launched in 2016.
In India, Facebook has pioneered an ambitious Express Wi-FI programme that brings affordable Internet to a community level with Facebook plugging the technology gap and its local Internet service provider partners helping out with data.
Facebook’s recent activities and acquisitions point to new ways in which the firm hopes to transform the relationship between society and technology – as well as compete with rivals such as Google and Amazon.