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Facebook Communications Networking

Facebook Wants Drones To Connect the Developing World 48

Posted by timothy
from the enlightened-self-interest dept.
judgecorp writes "Facebook is reportedly hoping to buy drone specialist Titan Aerospace in order to provide airborne relays for Internet connectivity in developing countries, as part of its internet.org project. The solar-powered drones are classified as "atmospheric satellites" and can fly for five years. The rumoured project sounds quite similar to Google's Project Loon, which proposes using balloons for the same job." More coverage at SlashCloud, which notes that the purchase is rumored but not yet publicly confirmed.
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Facebook Wants Drones To Connect the Developing World

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  • Do you mean blimps or mini blimps not drones?
    I have not heard of solar powered drones.

  • Finally, decent internet in the East Bay!
  • The solution is pretty clear: just implement RFC 1149 and RFC 2460 and connectivity will be fine in even remote areas.

  • Are there enough people in the areas to be served with computers to connect in the first place? Also, since these internet drones would have to fly above storm clouds. I did not see in the article (admittedly scanned it) any mention of wireless protocol. I don't think WiFi would be terribly effective. Unless this is exclusively for business, who is going to pay for the adapters and who is going to support them when the do not install correctly or flake out in some other way. As a last hurdle, would the gove
    • So you start by listing several technical reasons why this wouldn't work in a developing country and then go on to state that you would like to see this used in rural America (where you ignore the very same technical limitations you just listed). Does only Africa have storm clouds and trouble with bad wifi drivers? Do you really think the system won't work, or is that just a flimsy explanation to try to prevent 'them' from getting it so you can have it yourself?

      -AndrewBuck

      • by wjcofkc (964165)
        You misunderstood much of where I was coming from. In reference to protocols, adapters and storm clouds, I am saying I do not know enough about how the networking technology works. In specific reference to flying at a high elevation, when I expressed doubt about WiFi(which may be wrong) I was suggesting that a limited run on special adapters for a possibly proprietary protocol would likely be overly expensive of emerging countries. Also, in the United States we have the money to by WiFi or whatever else ada
        • Ok, that makes a bit more sense. I do understand your point about custom WIFI protocols but I don't think that those would actually be needed. If I recall correctly you can push wifi out to several km's fairly esily with the standard protocol and you don't start to have ack timeout issues until something like 100 km, and even then all you need to do is allow longer ack timeout values (this is technically a "custom" protocol then but not a major change).

          You do have a point about people in the US being more

  • s/developing world/emerging market/ this is no different than a cattle farmer targeting a different breed of heiffer for the opportunity to market, say, wagyu beef. the challenge is what to market to someone who only makes 60 cents a day.
  • ...they'll be very attractive drones. [slashdot.org]

  • Mr Zuckerburg wants to solve the world problem such as famine, drought, poverty, disease, etc by giving them free facebook account. I sense someone is going to win the Nobel peace price.
  • brought to you by the double edged sword of faceboom^Hk

  • by Khashishi (775369)

    You think the likely corrupt governments of poor countries will sit idly by and allow a foreign agent to fly drones in their airspace? Particularly if the purported purpose of the drones is to enable seditious speech and organizing?

  • ...all the Internets will be Facebook.
    On the bright side, though, I can see battles a-brewing over providing even Facebook "enhanced" Internet to oppressed people from the air. Harder to cut that cable, ya know?
  • Can Facebook go away already? Head the way of the Walkman... in to history and a humorous glance back at what it was, "Wow, did we really use that? Scary!"

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