Meta shutters its Connectivity division after nearly a decade
Meta Connectivity is no more. Almost a decade after launching the initiative, the company has shut down its Connectivity division. As part of the firm's overall restructuring, the division will be split across its 'Infra' and 'Central Products' teams, reported Light Reading and Fierce Wireless. The Connectivity division was responsible for getting more people online so that they could use Meta's social networks.
Why does this story matter?
- The year 2022 has been a poor one for tech companies. The tech winter has hit almost all the big names, including Meta.
- The company has been seriously affected by the economic slowdown coupled with a decline in its revenue, forcing the firm to rethink its priorities.
- With its focus on metaverse, the shutdown of the Connectivity division is no surprise.
Connectivity division's end is related to Meta's streamlining efforts
The shuttering of Meta Connectivity (formerly Facebook Connectivity) is a result of last month's mass layoffs. Last month, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company is laying off over 11,000 employees to reduce the company's size. The Connectivity division's end is tied to this measure by Meta. It is unclear when exactly Meta shut down the division.
What did the Connectivity division do?
Launched in 2013, Meta Connectivity's goal was to get more people online. To accomplish this, the company started Aquila, its bold stratosphere internet project that envisioned high-flying drones beaming the internet to underdeveloped parts of the world. However, the company shut down the project in 2018 after two test flights, one of which resulted in serious damage to the aircraft.
Amazon poached Meta's staff working on low-Earth orbit internet
After Aquila, Meta Connectivity focused on creating a Starlink-like low-Earth orbit satellite-based internet system. However, Amazon poached the staff working on it last year. Another innovative project the Connectivity arm worked on was fiber-laying robots with the code name Bombyx. Last year, it was estimated that Meta Connectivity helped more than 300 million people gain access to faster internet.
Meta will not pull off from Telecom Infra Project
The shuttering of Meta Connectivity will not affect the company's involvement in the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), which it helped establish in 2016, reported Light Reading. The TIP involves a group of telecom companies, service providers, and connectivity stakeholders with the goal of developing a new global telecom infrastructure. It aims to provide internet access all across the globe.