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3/4/2014
01:21 PM
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Facebook Likes Drones

Facebook is reportedly in talks to acquire Titan Aerospace, manufacturer of solar-powered drones, to bring Internet access to developing countries.
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Madhava verma dantuluri
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Madhava verma dantuluri,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/11/2014 | 11:33:02 PM
Good
Excellent article and knowing about FB and Google emerging into new evolutions. Very interesting aspects to see how it would be in use.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 8:39:21 PM
Re: Information is important
Google's video made an interesting point. Their balloons may only be airborne for 100 days or so, which may seem insignificant compared to the drones. But is it really a value-add to have a device that is capable of flying for five years? Technology moves fast and banking on one device could quickly render it obsolete. Then again, just because it can doesn't mean it needs to.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
3/4/2014 | 11:30:43 PM
Re: Information is important
I wonder how much it will cost to build each of these drones at such time as the design is stable and tested? And equally important, I wonder how many gigabytes per second each one can handle; would it be practical for here, or only for an underdeveloped area where anything is better than nothing? Since the device is slated to fly at 65,000 feet, they could conceivably run them above major cities.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/4/2014 | 8:43:10 PM
Re: Information is important
Clearly, there's a lot more for Facebook to iron out before any of this becomes a reality. As you mentioned, price plays an important role and is, perhaps, its biggest obstacle in bringing this to developing countries. The Google/Facebook race to connect will be an interesting one to watch.
Brian.Dean
IW Pick
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
3/4/2014 | 6:35:55 PM
Information is important
The internet is the easiest way to provide individuals with information, and in developing countries it's the slow pace of information's movement that causes some of the bottlenecks which does not allow the economy to grow to anywhere near its full potential.

So data connectivity is important but it requires at least $20 a month to maintain connectivity, that's $240 a year, not much considering that everything from information and knowledge to e-commerce can be enabled using this amount of cash. However, in most of the developing countries GDP per capita is around $500 to $1,000 a year, asking someone to spend 50% or 25% of their yearly income for better long term returns does not fly well. Internet access in one side and access to a stable electric source is also a variable that needs to be taken into account.

I am guessing in every region there would be pockets of the population that can afford and know the value of information, so if Facebook or Google can monetize these pockets to subsidize internet for the masses then it could work wonders. I wonder what the expected price would be to build one Solara drone.

 

 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
3/4/2014 | 6:34:30 PM
Facebook and Internet access
How likely is it that Facebook wants to provide just Internet access? It makes money from Facebook access, which is not the same as Internet access.
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