The Aquila program was part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s goal to “connect the whole world.”The plan was to build drones that would fly above remote areas and beam internet down to people below.
But in a blog post late Tuesday, the company said it is now leaving the design and construction of such aircraft to the experts in the aerospace industry, which has started investing in the technology.
“Given these developments, we’ve decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer,” Facebook engineering director Yael Maguire wrote in the blog post.
Instead, Facebook will work with partners like Airbus to develop drones that can fly at high altitudes for extended periods of time to beam internet down from the sky.
Billions of people around the globe still lack internet access, so some big tech companies have been pursuing ways to connect them from the air.
Companies like Google’s parent company Alphabet, uses Project Loon, which uses high-altitude balloons have been providing internet to remote areas. Countries like Peru and Puerto Rico have benefitted from such inventions after experiencing some natural disasters.