Facebook is purchasing a New Mexico drone company for $60 million in an effort to bring Internet connectivity to emerging parts of the world, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
TechCrunch and CNBC say the Menlo Park, Calif., social network “is in talks” to purchase Titan Aerospace, the maker of solar-powered drones that are capable of staying nearly 12.5 miles in the air for five years without having to land.
The reports say Facebook wants to buy the drone company as a way to push forward Internet.org, an initiative with several other companies to bring Internet connectivity to parts of the world that do not yet have the necessary infrastructure.
Facebook is interested in using Tita Aerospace’s drones to connect users, starting with those in Africa, according to TechCrunch.
The Silicon Valley giant said it does not comment on rumors and speculation. Titan Aerospace, meanwhile, could not be reached.
If Facebook does use Titan Aerospace to connect users to the Internet, it will be in direct competition with Google’s Project Loon, which aims to use giant balloons to create Internet networks above the Earth that users in areas with poor Internet connection can use.