Project Loon will use these solar-powered giant devices hovering 12 miles above the ground to beam down Internet to places where they can’t lay cable.
How do you deliver Internet access to the entire planet? The world could continue on its current course, gradually laying down the infrastructure and leaving large pieces of the planet without access (or at least access outside of a cell phone). But that could take decades. Google revealed this month that global Internet access is one of the “moonshot” programs the company is working on at the Google[x] lab, which is also working on self-driving car technology.
Project Loon’s goal is to build a ring of solar-powered, high-pressure balloons that hover 12.5 miles above the ground–twice as high as airplanes fly. The balloons deliver Internet access (at 3G-like speeds) on open-frequency radio bands. Anyone on the ground who’s in a building equipped with a special antenna can log on.