Opinion

Google's plan to bring the internet to the world through balloons is ready for the next level
TradeBriefs Editorial From the Editor's Desk

Google's plan to bring the internet to the world through balloons is ready for the next level
In the world of win-wins, Google's Loon project has got to be a top candidate. 3.4 billion people around the world still don't have internet. The cost of covering this population with traditional cellphone towers or broadband is prohibitive. Enter, Google's Loon project, which uses hot air balloons to provide connectivity to hundreds of thousands of people. Of course, Google can serve more ads and make more money once these people join the web, but the internet itself can potentially be free and net-neutral. This project has gone through several generations of R&D now within Alphabet and is beginning to look promising. Case in point, the company managed to connect over 250,000 people to the internet in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria last year - some who had never been connected in the first place - and kept a balloon in the area for 98 days. (It hopes, in the future to be able to keep balloons in the air for 200 days.)

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