The Internet is one of the most transformative technologies of our lifetimes. But for 2 out of every 3 people on earth, a fast, affordable Internet connection is still out of reach. And this is far from being a solved problem. So today, Google [x]’s latest Project Loon, an experimental technology for balloon-powered Internet access is unveiled today in the New Zealand.
“There are many terrestrial challenges to Internet connectivity–jungles, archipelagos, mountains. There are also major cost challenges. As a result, we hope balloons could become an option for connecting rural, remote, and underserved areas, and for helping with communications after natural disasters,” Google writes.
“We believe that it might actually be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below,” writes Google/
“It’s very early days, but we’ve built a system that uses balloons, carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, to beam Internet access to the ground at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster,” google added.
The pilot projet started this week is currently available in the Canterbury area of New Zealand with 50 testers trying to connect to balloons initially. But, Google says, that over time they’d set up pilots in countries at the same latitude as New Zealand.