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Facebook aims to develop Technology that will help everyone build a Global Community

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FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA
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New York, April 20, 2017: Facebook aims to develop technology that will help everyone build a global community, the social media giant’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said at the annual F8 developers conference at San Jose.

The company is investing in a number of foundational technologies over the next 10 years, including connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality, Schroepfer said on the concluding day of the conference.

Rather than looking for a one-size-fits-all connectivity solution, Facebook is investing in a building-block strategy — designing different technologies for different use cases, which are then used together to create flexible and extensible networks, Facebook wrote in a post on Wednesday.

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Yael Maguire, Director of Connectivity Programmes at Facebook, said that the company set three new records in wireless data transfer — 36GB per second over 13 kilometres point-to-point using millimetre-wave (MMW) technology, 80GB per second between those same points using optical cross-link technology and 16GB per second from a location on the ground to a circling Cessna aircraft over seven kilometres away using MMW.

Additionally, Facebook’s Terragraph system that is being tested with San Jose in the city’s downtown corridor became the first city-scale mesh millimetre-wave system capable of delivering fibre-like multi-gigabits/s of performance and reliability.

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The company also announced Tether-tenna, a new kind of “insta-infrastructure” where a small helicopter tethered to a wire containing fibre and power can be deployed immediately to bring back connectivity in case of emergency.

The announcements came a day after Zuckerberg took a jab at Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel’s purported disinterest in expanding business to “poor countries” like India.

Zuckerberg said Facebook was for everyone and not just for “the high end”.

“I think one thing that people probably don’t think about as much as we do is innovation to serve everyone in the community, not just the high end, right? So we focus on a lot of things like Facebook Lite. It’s up to 200 million people in like a year,” Zuckerberg told TechCrunch on Tuesday. (IANS)

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Facebook Is Planning To launch It’s Own Satellite ‘ATHENA’

A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila's mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

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Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported. Pixabay

 As part of its plan to connect billions of people who are still offline, Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported.

According to an application Facebook appears to have filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the name PointView Tech LLC, the project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” the report said on Friday.

Facebook, however, is not alone in aiming to increase Internet accessibility through satellites in low Earth orbit. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Softbank-backed OneWeb are two other prominent names who have similar ambitions.

Facebook also confirmed that Athena is their project, according to the report in the WIRED.

“While we have nothing to share about specific projects at this time, we believe satellite technology will be an important enabler of the next generation of broadband infrastructure, making it possible to bring broadband connectivity to rural regions where Internet connectivity is lacking or non-existent,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement.

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The project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” the report said on Friday. Pixabay

While Facebook had long expressed its cherished goal of connecting billions of underserved people around the world, it has not had much success with two earlier projects.

In June, Facebook announced it decided to abandon its plan to develop high-flying solar-powered drones called Aquila that was aimed to deliver Internet to nearly four billion people in remote parts of the world.

A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila’s mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight.

The social network also discontinued in 2017 a small helicopter drone project that could temporarily replace cellular services in emergency situations, The Verge reported.

Also Read-Facebook’s Helicopter Drone Project Got Grounded: Report

The idea was to send a helicopter equipped with telecommunications equipment hundreds of metres up in the air to be able to tether to fibre and power lines in places where wireless capacity was compromised due to disaster or other factors. (IANS)