Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced the Facebook Connectivity Lab, a division within his company that is working with drones, satellites and lasers to bring Internet connectivity to those who don’t yet have it.
The effort is a part of Internet.org, a global partnership that was launched last year with the mission of connecting everyone on the planet to the Internet.
“Our goal with Internet.org is to make affordable access to basic Internet services available to every person in the world,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
Internet.org released two videos explaining how users will be able to connect to the Internet. One, above, shows a simulation of a solar-powered drone flying through the air while the other shows Facebook staffer explaining the Connectivity Lab’s work.
Facebook plans to use high-altitude drones capable of flying for months on end to deliver connectivity to users in suburban areas.
In areas of lower density, Facebook would use low-orbit satellites to beam Internet signals to users. The drones and the satellites would communicate with one another and deliver data by a process using lasers known as free-space optical communication
“FSO is a promising technology that potentially allows us to dramatically boost the speed of Internet connections provided by satellites and drones,” according to a statement on Internet.org.
This month Facebook was said to be in talks to purchase Titan Aerospace for $60 million as part of this effort. Google is working on something similar called Project Loon, which uses giant balloons to deliver Internet access.