Project Loon: Balloon-powered Internet Access for the Entire Planet

by Ulrik

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Project Loon
Dansk Dynamit


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Yet more proof that we do actually live in remarkable times. Google have apparently found a way to connect everyone to the internet. And when we say say everyone we mean EVERYONE. As in the entire planet. Assuming the project succeeds, this effectively means that the remaining 5-6 billion people who are not wired in like the rest of us will get access to the internet by way of Google’s high-altitude balloons, which will eventually form a planet-covering network. Yes, the ambition and scope of Google’s latest project is dizzying to say the least.

You would kind of expect a company like Google to go all in on their next venture, but we must admit that we hadn't seen an idea of this magnitude coming. Nevertheless, the aptly named ‘Project Loon’ could see the information giant take things to another level after the hugely successful Google Earth. Here’s what they had to say about the balloon technology:

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. 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. 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.

Impressive. What we really like about the project is its inherent, democratizing potential; businesses connected to the internet grow twice as fast and generally, the act of seeking out information relevant to your particular need does, as we all know, become so much easier when you’re online. Moreover, rural areas affected by natural disasters would benefit immensely from this technology.

Google are currently looking for collaborative partners on Project Loon, so if this has caught your interest and you have skills that might be relevant, get in touch with Rich DeVaul + the rest of the ambitious Loons and help them succeed.

Via Dansk Dynamit