Facebook creating drones for world internet


America’s most used social network, Facebook, will be creating thousands of drones the size of jumbo jets which will fly 17 miles above the Earth to provide wireless internet to four billion people currently unable to get online.

Today, only 2.7 billion people, just over one-third of the world’s population, have access to the internet, according to Facebook. “We’re going to have to push the edge of solar technology, battery technology, composite technology,” said Yael Maguire, the leader of Facebook’s new Connectivity Lab, at the Social Good Summit in New York City.

To fly for months and years at a time the drones will need to rise above the weather, flying at between 60,000 and 90,000 feet, around 17 miles above the ground. Flying this high will solve problems associated with weather. Commercial air crafts fly around 30,000 feet, so air crafts will not have to worry about hitting a drone.

Rules regarding human operators will also need to be adjusted if the company’s plans are to be a success. Currently one person must be in control of an aircraft at all times, but Facebook hopes to change that so one person can control ten or even a hundred air crafts. “We can’t have one person per plane if we want to figure out how to connect the world,” said Maguire.

The aircraft will be “roughly the size of a commercial aircraft, like a 747” One prototype currently being worked on is about the length of seven cars, but weighs the same as just four car tires.

The company has already chosen 21 locations around the world where it would like to deploy them, in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and is looking for charities to run the equipment once it is manufactured.

Once these Facebook drones get up in the air, billions of people will be able to use the internet and who knows what else can come of this. Not only could the people who don’t have online access, get internet, but many people could also get an education. These planes can change people’s lives in a good way and give someone a chance at a great education.