Facebook launches lab to bring Internet everywhere

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Associated Press

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 27 at 7:02 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is giving more details about its effort to connect remote parts of the world to the Internet — and it involves drones, lasers and satellites.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that Facebook is hiring "key members of the team" from Ascenta, a U.K. company whose founders created early versions of the world's longest-flying solar powered drone.

Zuckerberg also unveiled the Facebook Connectivity Lab. The operation will employ the Ascenta hires as well as hires from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center.

The lab's goal is to bolster Internet.org, a project that aims to connect the more than 70 percent of the world's 7 billion people who are not yet online.

The announcement comes days after Facebook announced a $2 billion deal to buy virtual reality startup Oculus.

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