Facebook launches Connectivity Lab to bring affordable Internet access to all

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Mar 28, 2014 08:30 AM EDT

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced that his Internet.org project, which aims to bring Internet access to 5 billion people, has now reached 3 million people in Paraguay and the Philippines. Now, he is continuing the mission with the launching of a new project called the Connectivity Lab, according to VentureBeat.

CNET cited Zuckerberg saying: "Our team has many of the world's leading experts in aerospace and communications technology, including from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center. Today we are also bringing on key members of the team from Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world's longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. They will join our team working on connectivity aircraft."

The Connectivity Lab is using free-space optical communication (FSO), a technology that uses light to send data through space. The company will use long-endurance aircraft to bring Internet connections to suburban regions. As for ground-level areas, low-orbit satellites will be used, the report explained.

The Facebook team will build these drones to bring millions of people to the Web. This project will also help the social networking giant achieve its goal of acquiring more users, VentureBeat reported.

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