Facebook aims to develop technology that will help everyone build a global community, the social media giant’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said at the annual F8 developers conference at San Jose. The company is investing in a number of foundational technologies over the next 10 years, including connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality, Schroepfer said on the concluding day of the conference. Rather than looking for a one-size-fits-all connectivity solution, Facebook is investing in a building-block strategy — designing different technologies for different use cases, which are then used together to create flexible and extensible networks, Facebook wrote in a post on Wednesday.
Yael Maguire, Director of Connectivity Programmes at Facebook, said that the company set three new records in wireless data transfer — 36GB per second over 13 kilometres point-to-point using millimetre-wave (MMW) technology, 80GB per second between those same points using optical cross-link technology and 16GB per second from a location on the ground to a circling Cessna aircraft over seven kilometres away using MMW.
Additionally, Facebook’s Terragraph system that is being tested with San Jose in the city’s downtown corridor became the first city-scale mesh millimetre-wave system capable of delivering fibre-like multi-gigabits/s of performance and reliability.
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The company also announced Tether-tenna, a new kind of “insta-infrastructure” where a small helicopter tethered to a wire containing fibre and power can be deployed immediately to bring back connectivity in case of emergency. The announcements came a day after Zuckerberg took a jab at Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel’s purported disinterest in expanding business to “poor countries” like India.
Zuckerberg said Facebook was for everyone and not just for “the high end”. “I think one thing that people probably don’t think about as much as we do is innovation to serve everyone in the community, not just the high end, right? So we focus on a lot of things like Facebook Lite. It’s up to 200 million people in like a year,” Zuckerberg told TechCrunch on Tuesday.