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Facebook scraps plans to build Internet drones

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Facebook is scrapping plans to create drones that beam down Internet connectivity. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

By Sara Shayanian, UPI

Facebook announced it would be scrapping plans to develop its own flying Internet drones, an initiative that started four years ago.

In a Tuesday blog post, the social network said work on Project Aquila, which was intended to bring Internet access to remote parts of the world by using gigantic drones running on solar power, would come to an end.

Facebook said it had two successful full-scale test flights during the years spent working on the project and noted the initiative took lots of "trial and error."

"As we've worked on these efforts, it's been exciting to see leading companies in the aerospace industry start investing in this technology too - including the design and construction of new high-altitude aircraft," Facebook's Yael Maguire wrote in the post.

"Given these developments, we've decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer, and to close our facility in Bridgwater [in Great Britain]."

The company said it would instead partner with firms such as Airbus to continue its efforts to bring more people access to the Internet.

"Connectivity for everyone, everywhere is one of the great challenges of our generation," Maguire wrote. "Facebook has already connected nearly 100 million people as a result of our efforts,"

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