The world is about to get more connected. Facebook's data beam experiment is a critical step in making Internet access universal.
Besides trying to entice billions of people to post family photos and exchange birthday greetings, Facebook has some other tricks up its sleeve. One of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pet projects is to bring Internet access to remote areas of the world, and the company has crossed a major milestone to accomplishing the goal.
As described in an article appearing on Futurism.com, Facebook’s Connectivity Lab achieved a record-breaking data beaming rate with its technology-work-in-progress, which sent roughly 20 Gbps of data over the equivalent of about eight miles. Zuckerberg himself tweeted out about the milestone, claiming the data beam experiment used the “same amount of power it takes to light a single lightbulb.”
Eventually, the plan calls for the technology to be integrated into Facebook’s Aquila solar-powered drones, which are designed to beam Internet access to all of the remaining areas of the world that are unconnected. According to Facebook, more than 4 billion people are still not online, and 10 percent of the world’s population lives outside the range of cellular connectivity. Aquila, and this data beam technology, are part of Facebook’s plan to flip that statistic on its head.
I say, let the data beaming begin!