Mark Zuckerberg took to his personal Facebook page to detail plans to utilize drones, satellites and lasers to “deliver Internet to everyone.”
“Our team has many of the world’s leading experts in aerospace and communications technology, including from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Today we are also bringing on key members of the team from Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. They will join our team working on connectivity aircraft.”
Earlier this month, reports circulated that Facebook was looking to buy solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace for $60 million, possibly in a plan to create a low-orbiting drone fleet that could beam a high-speed Internet network from the sky.
Google also is floating an “Internet in the Sky” initiative — known as Project Loon. It would use high-altitude balloons to deliver broadband access to those in remote or unconnected places.
In Thursday’s note, Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s Connectivity Lab has made good progress so far in its goal to bring Internet connectivity to more people. He cited partnerships in the Philippines and Paraguay that have helped three million new people access the Internet.
“We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too,” he said. “That’s what our Connectivity Lab focuses on, and there’s a lot more exciting work to do here.”