Lately, corporations have been moving ahead with plans to bring Internet to parts of world that do not have access to it as of yet. As unbelievable as it sounds, there is a large section of people that are still not connected to the web — keeping them from all the opportunities and free knowledge that is available online. While some companies have been planning to do this through balloons, others are opting for drones. Facebook, which is one of the latter, has just announced a breakthrough in its attempts.
A drone or a balloon is necessary because it will be able to reach regions that are otherwise secluded — whether geographically or for other reasons, and beam data from there. Facebook has been pushing ahead with a solar powered drone that would be capable of flying within a certain range so as to keep a human settlement supplied with Internet.
Along the same, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a couple of pictures today, in which he talked about a breakthrough made by the Connectivity Labs team in beaming data.
In a Facebook post made a few hours ago, Zuckerberg said,
Our Connectivity Lab team set a record by beaming data at a rate of almost 20 Gbps over 13 km, using the same amount of power it takes to light a single lightbulb. Soon this technology will make it into our solar-powered planes to beam internet access to areas of the world that aren’t connected.
20 Gbps over 13 Km using the same amount of power it takes to light a single lightbulb! Well, that is certainly pretty impressive. The Facebook drones that will aim to beam the Internet will have to be pretty much self sustaining — meaning that they won’t be able to take heavy batteries and the sort. Zuckerberg has already said that they will be solar powered, which should allow them to stay in an area for extended periods of time.
20 Gbps is more than what we get over broadband, a lot more. However, we also have to consider the fact that the drones may need to transmit data over distances exceeding 13 KM. Also, there are likely to be hundreds of people sharing this connection.
While Connectivity Labs will probably refine the tech even further, improvements in the amount of power required to beam data mean that Zuckerberg’s vision looks closer to taking shape.