wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Facebook abandons plans to deliver internet via drones

Facebook has abandoned its plan of developing high-flying drones for delivering internet beams over regions with low connectivity, an initiative under its Aquila which it started in 2014. The company made the announcement in a blog post by Yael Maguire, director of engineering at Facebook.

The company is also shutting down its facility in the UK which managed drone design and development and has reportedly laid off 16 employees. Four years ago, Aquila was envisioned as an ambitious project which would launch drones powered by solar energy into the atmosphere. The drones would remain airborne at high altitudes for a few months and provide internet connectivity to remote regions world over.

The original plan involved using balloons to lift unmanned drones (with the wingspan of a Boeing 737 aeroplane) to an altitude of 90,000 feet. There, they would fly for as long as three months and transmit information using lasers.

“We were able to demonstrate that an aircraft of this design was viable with two successful, full-scale test flights,” Facebook said in its blog post.

The Aquila project conducted two public test flights of a prototype “Aquila” drone; the first test in 2016 seriously damaged the aircraft during landing (Facebook said the test was successful and mentioned the landing mishap in the passing). With this announcement, Facebook says it will no longer invest in building an aircraft of its own since everybody else is doing it. Now, instead of building aircraft of its own, Facebook says it will focus on working with partners on high-altitude internet delivery systems and will participate in policy-making with regard to securing spectrum and establishing federal rules around the operation of such systems.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Going forward, we’ll continue to work with partners like Airbus on HAPS connectivity generally, and on the other technologies needed to make this system work, like flight control computers and high-density batteries. On the policy front, we’ll be working on a proposal for 2019 World Radio Conference to get more spectrum for HAPS, and we’ll be actively participating in a number of aviation advisory boards and rule-making committees in the US and internationally.

Alongside the net neutrality breaching zero-rated service, Free Basics, the Aquila internet drone project was seen as Facebook’s push to get more people online and get them to on Facebook.  The company clarified to The Verge that while the Aquila Project with its partners will continue, it has abandoned designing and/or building its own drones.

Written By

I cover health, policy issues such as intermediary liability, data governance, internet shutdowns, and more. Hit me up for tips.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

India and US come to terms on how to deal with the equalisation levy in light of the impending Global Tax Deal.

News

Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.

News

The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.

News

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ