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Connecting the Unwired World With Balloons, Satellites, Lasers & Drones 15

1sockchuck writes: New projects are seeking to connect the unwired world using balloons, drones, lasers and satellites to deliver wireless Internet. There are dueling low-earth orbit satellite initiatives backed by billionaires Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Richard Branson (OneWeb), while Google's Project Loon is using balloons (which sometimes crash) and Facebook is building a solar-powered UAV (Project Aquila). “The Connectivity Lab team is very focused on the technical challenges of reaching those people who are typically in the more rural, unconnected parts of the world,” Jay Parikh, vice president of engineering at Facebook says. “I think that we need to get them access. My hope is that we are able to deliver a very rich experience to them, including videos, photos and—some day—virtual reality and all of that stuff. But it’s a multi-, multi-, multi-year challenge, and I don’t see any end in sight right now.”
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Connecting the Unwired World With Balloons, Satellites, Lasers & Drones

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  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Thursday September 03, 2015 @07:10PM (#50454449)

    in the 1990s I was in a third world country watching them bury fiber. Today, that country has 50X the speed of internet connection speed of the average american. the solution to reaching the unwired world is to wire it , for profit.

    • AT&T was paid to run fiber past my house. They weren't paid to hook anyone to it. The copper line doesn't support DSL. Cable ends a mile from my house. I pay $80 a month for 17 Gigs by satellite.
      • AT&T was paid to run fiber past my house. They weren't paid to hook anyone to it. The copper line doesn't support DSL. Cable ends a mile from my house. I pay $80 a month for 17 Gigs by satellite.

        A similar conundrum has befallen our little neighborhood. We have local AT&T fiber, and were talked into upgrading to an ultra-fast Uverse deal. As luck would have it, we are 1.5 km (5000 ft) from the pedestal that has the magical fiber optic line, and our run from there is copper phone line. 12mbps down/ 1mbps up per month for $70+.

        And it's better than what the neighbors get.

        • I'm not promoting any particular behavior, but the box on the corner in a friend's neighborhood got wiped out by a car, and when they replaced it, they replaced it with something which could deliver DSL.

          • got it: so one should be ethical and do just a few experimental wipe-outs, to ensure they all get replace by DSL capable boxes, before going on a neighborhood-wide rampage

  • Is this another article about Metal Gear Solid V?

  • It might have a very slow internet connection, but it still will be an unwired connection. Wires are much faster and reliable than any satellite, balloon or laser.

    These technologies might give us fast internet across the globe, at locations we need it, like after an earthquake. But I doubt whether in the long term they are cheaper than just digging in the earth a bit. The only advantage you get is that this infrastructure is controlled fully by you, as the company sending those balloons into the sky. On the

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Thursday September 03, 2015 @08:14PM (#50454731) Homepage Journal

    For ocean communications coverage, they attached a laser communications system to some sharks.

    • For ocean communications coverage, they attached a laser communications system to some sharks.

      Generating the artificial sharknado [newscientist.com] in order to improve coverage was challenging, but necessary. A shark's laser at sea level just doesn't provide enough coverage to be cost effective.

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.

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