Facebook confirms plans to offer Internet access via solar-powered air drones

Facebook has now confirmed previous rumors that it plans to provide Internet access to regions that are not currently connected via a series of solar-powered air drones. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post on his own page announcing that the company had hired "key members" from a company called Ascenta to help in those efforts.

Zuckerberg's post stated their new employees "created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft." A page on the Internet.org site offers up some more information on Facebook's efforts, under its Connecting Labs division.

Facebook has already been working to increase Internet access in the Philippines and Paraguay, according to Zuckerberg, Those early efforts have allowed three million new people a way to access the Internet for the first time in those regions. The Connecting Labs division is working to expand those efforts to other parts of the world, using drones along with low and geosynchronous orbiting satellites working to bring Internet access.

Facebook joins Google in trying to offer better ways to offer Internet access to third world regions. Google's approach is "Project Loon" which will use high altitude balloons to bounce data signals down to the ground; Google has already tested this approach in New Zealand and California.

Source: Internet.org and Facebook

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