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Google’s ambitious project to eliminate Internet-blind spots

Google’s ambitious project to eliminate Internet-blind spots

Posted June. 17, 2013 01:41,   


Google has unveiled its ambitious project named “Loon” to eliminate Internet-blind spots around the world. The project is about using hot-air balloons carrying communications equipments as giant wireless Internet routers. People in areas over which Google’s hot-air balloons are passing can use free Wi-Fi service.

Google announced Saturday on its official blog that the global IT giant began test near Lake Tekapo in New Zealand, by shooting 30 hot-air balloons carrying 3G communications equipment into 20 kilometers above the ground. The plastic balloons with diameter of 15 meters will provide Internet service while maintaining a set distance between them in the vicinity of the ozone layer, two times higher than airplane route.

The key to the test is how to control the balloons floating in the sky. Other than communications equipment, the balloons carry a computer to navigate, an altitude controller and a solar power system to maintain altitude and direction with self-generated power. If the test ends successfully, Google will shoot thousands of balloons into the sky in a few years.

The word loon is an informal word indicating a crazy person. Google seems aware that the project will be no easy. However, the search giant said, “Our challenge is meaningful considering that two third of the world population have no access to the Internet.

Dr. Richard DeVaul of Google X Labs, the incubator of Project Loon, said, “Rather than on the northern hemisphere where wire and wireless networks are tightly linked, we’ll focus on Africa where there are a lot of vast deserts or jungles, South America and the southern hemisphere where small islands are scattered.”