A network of 13 balloons will provide Wi-Fi to citizens below.
Even though more than 25% of Sri Lanka still lives in poverty (and thus, might have a difficult time finding a device to connect to the internet), the entire nation will soon be blanketed with Internet service. Thanks to a contract with Google to create Internet connections in the sky, wi-fi will soon be directed over all of Sri Lanka by balloons.
Project Loon, as it is called, uses a network of 13 giant balloons, riding air currents, to deliver smartphone-based Internet service to the people below. In effect, all citizens who can afford a tablet, smartphone, or computer will be able to access the Internet just like they might through a cell tower.
As SD Net reports, the Search Engine company (in the news lately for a number of reasons) created the project to deliver cheap internet to remote and inaccessible parts of the world where running cables and fiber optics are impractical or too expensive.
Each of the balloons can each stay aloft for 100 days, flying twice as high as commercial airliners. Google can build each balloon in a matter of hours and launch 12 per day with a single crane. Eventually, they aspire to have thousands of balloons in the air at a time, covering remote corners of the world from the Arctic to Australia.
While this might be concerning pending the safety of electromagnetic frequencies, it does seem like an intriguing concept.
Google’s Project Loon began testing the idea in New Zealand in 2012, but Sri Lanka will be the first location the project delivers Internet to when it goes online in the next few months.
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