Facebook's Drone-and-Laser Plan to Give Internet to Everyone

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In its quest to get the whole world online, Facebook's Internet.org project has included partnerships with companies like Samsung and Nokia, as well as with NASA. Now it seems that rumors about Mark Zuckerberg's drone dreams are true, and the social network giant is planning on internet-delivering drones, satellites, and even lasers. Here's our first look at how that might take shape.

"Today, we're sharing some details of the work Facebook's Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone," Zuckerberg posted earlier, along with an animation of what it might look like to sail on one of those Facebook-enabling drones through the sky.

Imagine what that would be like, the video asks—in a slightly creepy way!—when we all have the internet:

"What happens when the rest of us get access? It doesn't get twice as good, it gets a bazillion times as good. Imagine for the first time, humanity firing on all cylinders."


Internet.org is currently in the process of working with Ascenta, the British company that built the Zephyr, the world's longest flying solar-powered drone. Beyond that, details about how those drones will turn into bandwidth are scare. So far Facebook has some high-level ideas about how this would all work, but that's about it.

It's a long-term, pie in the (literal) sky notion—much like Google's internet-delivering balloons—but with acquisitions like Oculus VR in its recent past, Facebook is clearly gearing up for things that are years and years away. So if you were afraid Google was becoming Skynet, at least there's a chance it'll have to fight through an army of Facebook drones before it achieves supremacy. [Facebook]