Facebook, Google Plan to Provide Internet Access to Remote Areas

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Facebook, Google Plan to Provide Internet Access to Remote Areas

Mar 31, 2014 6:08 AM, By Doug Irwin, CPBE DRB

Mar 30, 2014 - Recently I noted an assertion by Petter Djerf of Media Mobile (see link below) basically saying that it is impractical to provide information dissemination to "everyone, everywhere, all the time" by any way except over-the-air radio broadcasts. Internet access, though seemingly ubiquitous throughout North America and most of the world, is, in fact, not something that exists in every far corner of our planet. Google and now Facebook seem to agree with that last point -- but, neither is shrugging its collective shoulders and giving up. MIT Technology review is reporting that Facebook has set up a team that will develop solar-powered aircraft to provide Internet access to isolated, suburban areas of the world where Internet connectivity is scarce.

Could there be conflicts with Google's plans though? Already the most well-known search engine provider has laid plans to deploy a fleet of high-altitude balloons to provide Internet access to areas heretofore that had none. Google has carried out test flights already, and says the eventual deployment will be in altitudes between 18 and 27 kilometers (about 60,000 to 88,000 feet). Facebook's aircraft will operate at 20km.

MIT Technology review also provided a link to an interesting (and short) video from Dr. Yael Maguire that describes, in greater detail, Facebook's plans.

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