What do Balloons and the Internet Have in Common?

A Google project aims to get everyone online

Jun 24, 2013

Tags:

What do Balloons and the Internet Have in Common? | A Google project aims to get everyone online

We say "everyone" is online these days – but is that really true? According to Google's Project Loon, not at all. Two-thirds of the world's population is still without Internet access, and the initiative is working to turn that around – with balloons, no less.
So how does it work? Superpressure balloons sit some 20 km above the Earth's stratosphere, and a Google-developed algorithm determines where they need to go. The balloons are then moved remotely into a layer of wind, which will carry them where they need to go. Each balloon provides Internet to a ground area of about 40 km in diameter, at speeds similar to the 3G mobile data you get on your smartphone.
The project is launching its pilot this month, using 30 balloons over New Zealand's South Island. Up, up and away!

RELATED:
What to Expect from the Internet of the Future
Old School Internet
The Democratization of Higher Education