Facebook Internet Access Heli-Drones Take Flight

The social media giant is experimenting with an array of technologies to boost Internet access and connectivity.


As part of its continued quest to bring the Internet to all corners of the globe, even those most remote, Facebook recently showed off a mini helicopter that could become a make-shift tower for people to get online.

The Tether-tenna, connected to an Internet cable and power source, is linked up to an existing piece of fiber line and can then fly above the ground to provide a source of connectivity for town that might have been hit by a disaster like a flood or hurricane, as explained in an article on CNN.com.

Tether-tenna is among several initiatives Facebook is trying out to broaden Internet access. The firm recently tested its high-speed Terragraph Internet service for populated areas, which boosts wireless capabilities in places where there is a lot of people looking for connections. Facebook told CNN that there is still work to be done before Terragraph can be officially rolled out, but the social media giant was “encouraged by its progress.”

Last year, Facebook did the maiden launch of its Aquila drone, which is designed to deliver Internet access from high in the atmosphere, although the first flight hit a snag. The drone was stymied by a “structural failure,” CNN said, and is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. The article said test flights will continue later this year.

Most of the efforts come from Facebook’s Connectivity Lab, which is part of Internet.org. The organization’s mission is to get the next billion people online.

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