Google drones, Safaricom buses spread wifi

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

wifi bus
Safaricom has tricked out minibuses in Africa with some sweet free wifi.

Billions of people living in undeveloped countries lack basic internet access, but thanks to the efforts of companies large and small, that won’t be the case for much longer.

Recently, Google bought the drone company known as Titan Aerospace before competitor Facebook had a chance to pull out their wallets. Google already has their own globe-trotting balloons designed to deliver the world wide web as part of their Project Loon, and the tech wizards believe these new drones will be the perfect supplement.

According to Titan Aerospace, their drones can fly at altitudes (heights) of 65,000 feet for 5 years non-stop, using solar energy for fuel. Facebook was looking into buying the company themselves before choosing to acquire the European drone makers Ascenta, in their own quest to provide worldwide net access.

These high-flying projects aren’t the only ones cruising around to spread wifi in unconventional ways. While the search engine giant will use their solar-powered drones to deliver internet access, another company called Safaricom is taking it to the ground by equipping minibuses in Kenya, Africa with free wifi. See, Africa is the perfect place to help out with the web, since only 16% of the population accesses the internet! Despite the number of citizens with mobile devices quadrupling in recent years, wifi is pricey and reserved for only the most sophisticated locations like hotels and airports. By providing free access in public areas like buses, less successful individuals can enjoy surfing the web.

Featured image courtesy of Titan Aerospace. Image of wifi minibus courtesy of CIO East Africa and Safaricom.