It seems like social media giant Facebook hasn’t got over its drone obsession! After giving up its drone project back in June 2018, the company now appears to be in talks with Airbus for drone tests in Australia.
According to a document (thanks to Australian Freedom of Information Act) acquired by Netzpolitik, Facebook, with the use of Airbus’s Zephyr drone, has plans to start its solar-powered drone business to spread internet all over the world.
The document suggests that Airbus had meetings (around 18 times) with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to get drone testing approvals at the Wyndham airfield in Western Australia.
While the tests were supposed to take place in November and December 2018, there is still no word whether or not it actually happened. Additionally, the document suggests that the tests were delayed several times.
Mark Zuckerberg-owned Facebook suggests that it will continue its endeavor to work on High Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS); however, it remained silent on other details.
For those who don’t know, the Zephyr drones by Airbus have primarily been used to serve military purposes. It comes with a wingspan of 25 meters for charging batteries via solar panels and can stay in the air for around 26 days.
This is not the first time Facebook’s aims to provide Internet access to all has shaped; it has its Free Basics initiative in the developing countries to provide unlimited free data to users and also has a public-private Wi-Fi program.
We still can’t comment on the viability of the internet via drones and its impact on net neutrality. However, we do hope for internet access to all.
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