Earlier this year, Facebook announced that it will abandon its plan to develop its own passenger jet-sized, solar-powered drones called Aquila, that was aimed to provide internet access in remote stretches of the world. Now, a fresh report claims that the social networking giant is once again pursuing plans to launch satellite early next year, that will help connect billions of people who are still offline.
According to a report by WIRED, Facebook has filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the name PointView Tech LLC — the project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world.” The report further claims that Facebook confirmed that Athena is their project.
“While we have nothing to share about specific projects at this time, we believe satellite technology will be an important enabler of the next generation of broadband infrastructure, making it possible to bring broadband connectivity to rural regions where Internet connectivity is lacking or non-existent,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
Besides, Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. The Verge reported that “Facebook said Aquila would focus its efforts on developing the onboard software systems that guide internet aircraft. Google parent company Alphabet did the same in January of last year, shutting down its solar-powered drone project in favour of its air balloon Wi-Fi initiative Project Loon and strategic investments in third-party satellite internet companies.”