Internet via satellite, drones… Meta disconnects

Meta Connectivity is over. The Connectivity division of the American giant is closing, the company confirmed to the Light Reading media on Monday, December 12. For almost ten years, it was the division’s goal to develop innovative projects that would increase global Internet coverage.

Innovative projects

The Meta Connectivity shutdown had actually been in the works for some time. The employees who developed within the division were gradually absorbed by the Infrastructure and Central Product branches. The end of an era which could well mean the abandonment of many original technological projects. Launched in 2013, Connectivity aimed to connect more people around the world to the Internet, and ultimately to social networks.

To accomplish its mission, Meta (ex-Facebook) had launched a number of innovative ideas in this area. High-altitude drones with solar panels were being developed and were expected to bring internet to remote areas of the planet. The project had experienced difficulties in 2016, before an outright shutdown in 2018. At the same time, Meta planned to launch its own satellite internet network, so far without success. As TechCrunch recalls, patents had been filed in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021. But for a year, nothing.

At the same time, Meta retains its connectivity division within the Telecom Infra Project, an initiative launched in 2016 with the aim of implementing a stable internet network. By 2021, Meta Connectivity is estimated to have helped connect over 300 million people worldwide.

The abolition of the connection division comes at the height of the economic crisis in the sector of new technologies. During the publication of the latest quarterly results, disappointing in the eyes of investors, Mark Zuckerberg reportedly announced his intentions to fire several thousand people at Meta.

I have decided to reduce the size of our team by approximately 13% and let over 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by reducing discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through the first quarter.“, explained the media manager of Meta on November 9 in a press release. The end of Meta Connectivity therefore seems to be in the wake of the austerity measures adopted by the company. Dan Rabinovitch, current head of the branch, was soon to occupy new functions .

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