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Facebook Inc (FB) To Experiment With Bigger Version of its Solar-Powered Drone This Summer

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is moving forward with its efforts to provide internet access to billions of people who don’t have accessibility today, by planning to experiment with a bigger version of its solar-powered drone this summer. A Wall Street Journal article reported on the news and discussed about Facebook Inc’s plans to test its drone this year, as said by company executives on Thursday.

Facebook Inc (FB), FB, NASDAQ:FB

“We are working towards a real test flight this summer sometime. Depending on how this test flight goes, we’ll see what happens. This is a big plane, this is a big project and it’s never been done before,” said Jay Parikh, Vice President of Engineering at Facebook’s Annual Developer Conference.

A few weeks ago, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) had tested a smaller drone, which was ten times smaller than the size of its planned solar-powered models. The actual full-size version of the drone would have wings about equal to a Boeing 737 but it would weigh only the same as a small car. The drone is dubbed as ‘Aquila’ and is a part of Facebook’s efforts to provide internet access to billions of people lacking it today.

According to Facebook Inc’s executives, the process of providing internet access through drones will obviously take some time and it won’t be functional anytime soon because the company needs to make sure about the safety of the drone, and it will have to form partnerships with carriers for the drones’ communication features.

“Right now it really goes against our core mission. I think it would take a lot longer if we were going to do it all by ourselves. It would take a lot of money and I don’t think it’s sustainable long-term,” Parikh said.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is determined to extend web access to people who are unable to use its services because of inaccessibility. It is also making efforts by collaborating with mobile carriers to extend web access and the company is not going to provide any service directly that will compete with the carriers.

Other than drones, Facebook Inc is examining satellite and other technologies to provide internet access to people and it’s not alone in this effort. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), while having its own drone program, is also working on high-altitude balloons and it has had a program to provide internet access through orbiting satellites. By enabling billions of additional people to use the internet on a large scale through its drones, Facebook Inc will be able to enlarge its user-base and expand its business significantly, as yet more people will start using its services.

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