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Tuesday, 25 April 2017 15:35

New Facebook tool will bring you free internet access when you most need it

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FACEBOOK FREEBIES: Social network is looking at ways to bring free internet to disaster zones

FACEBOOK has announced plans to bring free internet to the masses with this new Wi-Fi-supplying helicopter.

Facebook’s desire to bring internet, and its social network, to the world has just been taken up a notch.

Having already started trialling its high-flying internet drones that will bring wireless internet access to the developing world, the internet giant is now working on specialist internet supplying helicopters. 

The autonomous machines are for use closer to home, however, and will one day take to the skies above urban settings.

 

The small helicopters, known as Tether-tenna, will deliver free internet to areas where natural disasters have wiped out the existing infrastructure.

For them to function, some remaining fibre line functionality will still be needed, however, with the helicopter being tethered to a fibre line, creating a replacement internet tower of sorts.

“One of Facebook's goals is to not only connect communities, but to connect them when they need it most,” Facebook’s Yael Maguire wrote in an official blog post.

He added: “When completed, this technology will be able to be deployed immediately and operate for months at a time to bring back connectivity in case of an emergency - ensuring the local community can stay connected while the in-ground connectivity is under repair.”

The tethered helicopters will fly “a few hundred feet from the ground” and transmit a wireless signal to a broader area.

“When completed, this technology will be able to be deployed immediately and operate for months at a time to bring back connectivity in case of an emergency,” Maguire explained.

Despite making the announcement to coincide with its ongoing F8 developer conference, Facebook has warned that its internet bringing helicopters won’t be taking to skies above cities anytime soon.

“This is still in the early stages of development and lots of work is needed to ensure that it will be able operate autonomously for months at a time, but we're excited about the progress so far,” Maguire stated.

Facebook’s internet drones have been taken on their maiden test flights in recent months and will be flown above developing nations in the not too distant future.

Facebook introduce Facebook Stories

Despite already having well over 1 billion users, Facebook believes that by bringing internet access to billions of new people, it can rapidly expand its active monthly user base.

It’s internet-supplying helicopters are just one way it is looking to do this.

Elsewhere, the social giant has updated a number of its services in recent weeks, with the core Facebook app echoing rival Snapchat by adding Facebook Stories.

These let you upload short picture and video clips that expire at the end of every day and are visible to all of your friends.

 

A knock-on affect of this new feature is that you can now .

This article was published in dailystar.co.uk by Luke Johnson

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