Google’s latest loony idea: A global WiFi balloon network.
From The Australian Business section, January 3, 2014, page 1
Google looks to tap Australian telcos for its global balloon WiFi revolution
January 03, 2014 12:00AM
TELSTRA is among a group of telcos that have held high-level talks with Google about working together on a revolutionary project to beam wireless internet signals from stratospheric balloons into hard-to-reach and underserved rural and regional areas.
Called Project Loon, the ambitious plan uses high-altitude balloons equipped with antennas to beam WiFi signals capable of delivering 3G-like internet speeds to homes and businesses down below.
Tests of Project Loon are under way in New Zealand and will be extended to Tasmania by mid-year, but the internet giant needs regulatory approvals and help from local telecommunication companies to get the project off the ground.
At Google the project has the official status of a “moon shot”, a high-risk, high-reward and expensive effort. “The idea may sound a bit crazy — and that’s part of the reason we’re calling it Project Loon — but there’s solid science behind it,” Google has previously said of the project.
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