Social media giant facebook scraped off its ambitious drone project ‘AQUILA’ that was launched in August 2015 to deliver the delicacies of Internet to the remotest places all over the world. ‘AQUILA’ aircraft which was basically a solar powered internet drone, was also known as High Altitude Platform Station(HAPS) System.
FB’s announcement on Wednesday to abandon this project came as a shock to manyone as a team of talented engineers at Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Connevtivity Lab was already heard to have successfully developed a new optical technology that help laser beams to deliver fast internet access to remote areas all around the globe in September,2016. The California based social media giant Facebook was already working on this for last half a year.
FB cited ‘Technological and geographical limitattions’ as the reasons behind this decision of permanently closing down the dream of building a huge, gigantic solar powered plane to serve internet to every people on the world.
“We’ve decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer, and to close our facility in Btidgewater.” Facebook’s Yael Maguire declared in a news post on the company’s coding subsite. He continued-“Ofcourse, HAPS connectivity requires more than just an aircraft. We’ve made important progress on some of the other key parts of the system-including setting new records using millimeter-wave(MMW) technology in air-to-ground and point-to-point communication”.
Before this, Facebook had already moved aside from its Express Wi-Fi Project implementation in India which aimed at bringing internet to every part of this huge country despite having talks with a number of Indian Telco’s for the trials of its AQUILA drones as quoted by ET report from Robert Pepper ,Facebook’s connectivity public policy director. The reason is still unknown.
However, Facebook is not giving up on its efforts to help connect the 4 billion people who still do not have access to the internet. This California based giant confirmed on Wednesday that it will continue supporting entrepreneurs in programs like Express Wi-Fi which is an integral part of Facebook’s much talked about Internet.org mission.
There have been reports that scraping off this huge project of drone-powered solar plane may cost 16 jobs specific to the development and maintenance of the aircraft.
AQUILA is already the past. Now it is to see what Mark Zuckerberg brings in to fulfill his long awaited dream of delivering internet to every corner of the world.