TIME media and technology

Facebook Eyes Using Drones to Deliver Internet

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg addresses the audience during a media event at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park
Robert Galbraith—Reuters

Mark Zuckerberg reveals a grand plan to bring Internet access to parts of the world that typically without it—through drones, satellites and lasers. Lofty as it sounds, its Connectivity Lab could become a major competitor with Google's Project Loon, which uses helium balloons to beam Internet to those below

Facebook is friending drones.

The social network’s founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed Thursday that the company’s ambitious plan to bring Internet access to the parts of the world without it will use drones to do. A year after announcing the Internet.org project, Zuckerberg said Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is making progress as it works to “build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone.” The project will do nothing less, he said, than “beam internet to people from the sky.”

“Over the past year, our work in the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people using mobile data with the operators we’ve partnered with, helping 3 million new people access the internet,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. “We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too.”

Facebook’s Connectivity Lab could become a major competitor with Google’s Project Loon, which is using helium balloons to beam Internet access down to people below. Reports recently surfaced that Facebook is mulling an acquisition of the drone company Titan Aerospace.

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