Similar to Project Loon, the Drone project has been designed for the purpose of improving and resolving the problem of limited internet access all over the world. This can prove to be a serious problem for people who are in the business of getting people online and have their own service network. Because there are enormous challenges in regard to wiring the areas, two thirds of the whole of the world’s population is still of the grid. There are various areas of the world that don’t have a realistic plan for deploying and providing internet access anywhere in the immediate future because of impoverished citizens, low population densities, significant levels of sociopolitical arrest and challenging terrain.
The aim of Facebook is to change this scenario and it believes that using drones is the best choice for this job. According to Mark Zuckerberg, solar-powered drones have the ability of staying in the air for much longer as compared to their balloon counterparts. Also, drones will be able to stay over a particular area whereas balloons have limited controls because they drift on the wind. In addition, it is possible to service drones easily as opposed to balloons and then return to flight.
In most of the other aspects, Facebook’s drone project and Google’s Loon project are quite similar. They are attempting to solve the same problem and have targeted the same atmospheric height. The purpose is to provide regional and cheap slices of internet access from the sky instead of depending on the expensive satellites to do the task. However, there are two major flaws associated with these projects that have yet to be identified by either Google or Facebook. Firstly, they haven’t considered the repercussions of these projects on the Telecommunications industry because of the widespread deployment of their technologies.
Companies like Comcast, AT&T and Time Warner will be threatened by the Wi-Fi signals that will be thrown out by these drones or balloons, especially if they are free. Secondly, there is another crucial challenge faced by aerial internet and that is provided by governments of most countries, which don’t want to provide people with unrestricted access to the internet. The introduction of this technology would provide uncensored link to the internet, which governments in most areas targeted by the companies will not appreciate. Also, no matter how noble the intentions are of Facebook and Google; this endeavor is definitely not philanthropic.