News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost Enterprise Cloud Computing
On Force.com
You are here: Home / Communications / Zuckerberg Plan To Spread Net: Drones
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Facebook's Zuckerberg Sees Drones, Satellites Spreading Net
Facebook's Zuckerberg Sees Drones, Satellites Spreading Net
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
MARCH
28
2014



Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday described his plans for bringing broadband Internet to remote areas through satellites, lasers and drones. To support that vision, the company announced Friday that it has purchased the UK-based Ascenta, a pioneer in solar-powered unmanned aircraft.

The purchase price for Ascenta was reportedly $20 million.

At this point in humanity's evolution, only one-third of the planet's population has Net access. In a post Thursday on Facebook's blog, Zuckerberg wrote that he wanted to share some additional information his company's Connectivity Lab is doing to "deliver the Internet to everyone" through the non-profit organization Internet.org.

Founded last year, Internet.org's backers include Facebook and several mobile phone companies (Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera Software and Qualcomm). Google's Project Loon is an R&D project with a similar vision of providing Net access to remote areas, but through the use of high-altitude balloons.

Philippines and Paraguay

Zuckerberg said that the organization's efforts in the Philippines and Paraguay "have doubled the number of people using mobile data with the operators we've partnered with," resulting in 3 million people gaining Net access.

The Connectivity Lab's team, he said, includes experts in aerospace and communications technology from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center. Additionally, specialists are being added from Ascenta, which created early versions of Zephyr, the world's longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft.

His post links to the Internet.org site, which features a video promoting the idea of solar-powered planes providing connectivity to remote areas.

The site describes the use of satellites with very high capacities for areas of low population density, solar-powered planes flying for months in circular formations to support suburban areas, and infrared lasers connecting the flying platforms.

Cost vs. Benefit

Matt Davis, director of Consumer and SMB Telecom Services at industry research firm IDC, told us that Internet.org's vision comes down "as always" to cost versus benefit.

He said this scheme might make sense for "someone in a remote area that absolutely has to have connectivity for something like safety or a commercial reason," although he pointed out that "solar-powered drones deployed so someone can update their Facebook page seems a bit of a stretch."

It would also seem to be a stretch for Internet.org or carriers to expect monthly service fees from areas of the world where many people do not have enough money for food. Internet.org has a stated goal of dramatically reducing the cost of broadband access, possibly even making basic services free of charge, a scenario that Zuckerberg has called "a 911 for the Internet."

Davis brought up the question of how this effort will be paid for over the long run, and suggested that perhaps Facebook would monetize the connectivity in ways not involving subscriptions. Subsidies by the local governments might be involved, but, again, high-speed Internet access may be low on their budget list of priorities.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN COMMUNICATIONS
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Russian Gang with Stolen IDs Hacks Hosting Company
In August, a Russian cyber gang obtained what researchers called “the largest cache of stolen data." Now, those hackers may be putting their ill-gotten gains to criminal use.
 
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Known for its hot fries and soft-serve ice cream, Dairy Queen just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's New FX Series CPU Breaks Processing Speed Record
The new FX-8370 processor from Advanced Micro Devices has set a record for silicon processor speed, the company announced. Overclocked, the eight-core chip was measured at 8722.78 MHz.
 
Intel Intros Lightning-Fast PC Processors
Call it extreme. Intel just took the covers off its first-ever eight-core desktop processor, which is aimed at hardcore power users who expect more than the status quo from their computers.
 
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Rumor Mill Puts Mobile Wallet in iPhone 6
Apple is moving toward the mobile wallet world with its next iPhone. The tech giant has partnered with retailers, banks and major payment networks to make it happen, according to Bloomberg.
 
Will iPhone Finally Catch Up with NFC Mobile Payment Ability?
Apple's latest version of the iPhone may have a mobile wallet to pay for purchases with a tap of the phone. The iPhone 6 reportedly is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.
 
Visual Search To Shop: Gimmick or Game Changing?
Imagine using your phone to snap a photo of the cool pair of sunglasses your friend is wearing and instantly receiving a slew of information about the shades along with a link to order them.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.