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Wed, Jan 23, 2019

Facebook, Airbus Still Working On Drone-Based Internet Service

Collaboration Has Grown Since Aquila Project Ended Last June

Airbus and Facebook are quietly continuing work on a proposed drone-based Internet project, according to documents obtained by the German online publication NetzPolitik.

Digital Trends reports that the German publication published documents it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request that show Facebook is working with Airbus on the Zephyr project, with the collaboration growing after Facebook announced last June that it was giving up on its independent drone internet program called Aquilla after four years of development.

The documents show that flights of a Zephyr drone with Facebook payloads were scheduled in Australia last fall, though it does not indicate whether those flights actually took place. The two companies also held meetings with European regulators last April concerning the use of Zephyr drones to deliver Internet service to remote communities.

While not confirming the report, Facebook said in brief statement to NetzPolitik that the company continues to "work with partners on High Altitude Platform System (HAPS) connectivity," but did not provide any details.

(Image from file)

FMI: Digital Trends, NetzPolitik

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