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A New Facebook Lab Is Intent on Delivering Internet Access by Drone -

Stashed in: Facebook!, Zuck!, Teh Internets, FB, Drones!

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“We want to think about new ways of connectivity that dramatically reduce the cost,” said Yael Maguire, engineering director for the new Facebook Connectivity Lab. “We want to explore whether there are ways from the sky to deliver the Internet access.”

The lab is part of Mr. Zuckerberg’s ambitious project to bring the Internet to the two-thirds of the world’s population without Internet access. With partners like Qualcomm and Nokia, Facebook is working on technology to compress Internet data, cut the cost of mobile phones and extend connections to people who can’t afford them or live in places that are too difficult to reach.

Just think how much better the solutions to getting the whole world on the Internet would be if Facebook and Google worked together. 

They didn't get where they are by being cooperative.

Back to drones:  The big question Zuck answers here is what type of vehicle is best for beaming Internet to who. First, he breaks down the physics that shape the answers. Essentially the higher you beam Internet from, the wider area you can cover but with a weaker signal.

For densely populated areas, you need high-strength, low-altitude terrestrial connectivity beamed from towers like we’re used to in the developed world. Those don’t work as well in the developing world, though, as they’re expensive to physically build and install, and are vulnerable to threats on the ground including war, looting, theft, and natural disasters.

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