While it may seem that everybody and their grandmother has Facebook today, it may surprise you to know that two thirds of the world’s population does not. Not from distaste for the website but due to the lack of Internet access for more than half the globe.
Creator of this social media network, Mark Zuckerberg, announced this week that he has put together a new team called the Connectivity Lab to research and test new technologies to get everyone connected to the world wide web. The Connectivity Lab will look towards using drones, satellites, and lasers to reach isolated areas.
This new team is in connection with the Connection movement put together by Facebook and other technology companies who launched Internet.org last year. This global partnership has made it their goal to make internet accessible to everyone. They see the lack of connectivity as one of the greatest challenges for our underprivileged generation because they do not have access to the tools and opportunities being connected to the internet allows.
Since the coalition, more than three million more people have been given access to the internet according to Zuckerberg. To reach more people Zuckerberg has brought on aerospace experts from Nasa and those who worked with building the Zephyr solar-powered drone.
The Connectivity Lab will look to use drones to bring internet to more suburban areas as they can remain in the air for months at a given time. For more rural areas where a drone can not reach out to large masses of people they are testing satellites to beam connections on the ground. Long distance connections are currently being tested using invisible infrared laser beams.
Whether or not the government and people of certain countries will accept the use of internet in the future remains unknown and of little concern to those at the Connectivity Lab. For now, their main goal is overcoming the technical challenges that make delivering internet to all areas of the globe difficult.
Image courtesy of marcopako.