Facebook Predicts Future Internet Powered by Drones and Lasers

Mark Zuckerberg sets his sights on bringing the Web to “every person in the world.”

In this photo illustration the Social networking site Facebook is reflected in the eye of a man on March 25, 2009 in London, England. The British government has made proposals which would force Social networking websites such as Facebook to pass on details of users, friends and contacts to help fight terrorism.
National Journal
Dustin Volz
March 27, 2014, 1:27 p.m.

Face­book CEO Mark Zuck­er­berg is en­vi­sion­ing a fu­ture where the In­ter­net will be powered by “drones, satel­lites, and lasers.”

The bil­lion­aire an­nounced in a blog post Thursday the cre­ation of Face­book Con­nectiv­ity Lab, a com­pany di­vi­sion work­ing with In­ter­net.org to bring con­nectiv­ity to those cur­rently without ac­cess.

“In our ef­fort to con­nect the whole world with In­ter­net.org, we’ve been work­ing on ways to beam In­ter­net to people from the sky,” Zuck­er­berg said. “Our goal with In­ter­net.org is to make af­ford­able ac­cess to ba­sic In­ter­net ser­vices avail­able to every per­son in the world.”

In­ter­net.org is an ef­fort launched last year by Face­book and oth­er groups to in­crease In­ter­net ac­cess­ib­il­ity around the globe. The site re­leased two videos along­side Zuck­er­berg’s an­nounce­ment. One sim­u­lates what a sol­ar-powered drone cap­able of provid­ing In­ter­net might look like. An­oth­er fea­tures a Face­book em­ploy­ee dis­cuss­ing the com­pany’s Con­nectiv­ity Lab.

Face­book has been busy shelling out bil­lions to buy oth­er tech­no­logy com­pan­ies re­cently. Earli­er this week the so­cial-me­dia gi­ant bought Oculus VR, a vir­tu­al-real­ity head­set maker, for $2 bil­lion. Last month, it an­nounced a pur­chase of mo­bile chat cli­ent What­s­App for an eye-pop­ping $19 bil­lion.

This is the second time in the last month Zuck­er­berg has taken to his Face­book page to an­nounce at­ten­tion-grabbing news. He pre­vi­ously used the ven­ue to ex­press his frus­tra­tion over rev­el­a­tions about the gov­ern­ment’s In­ter­net sur­veil­lance pro­grams, which led to a sum­mit with Pres­id­ent Obama last week that he and oth­er ex­ec­ut­ives of big tech firms at­ten­ded.

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