Hot off the press is an announcement by Google, made just yesterday, that would see affordable access to the internet being provided to remote areas not accessible by other land-based forms using helium balloons made of polyethelene film. The initiative, called “Project Loon”, has already had its first pilot test in New Zealand on South Island. The first test involved the launch of 30 balloons measuring fifteen meters in diameter. The balloons, which float up to twelve miles above ground are powered entirely by wind and sun, and can form a ‘sky network’ that communicates with other balloons that have been released.
This rather clever and delightfully simple initiative may offer a much more affordable way for internet companies to provide customers with wireless internet access via hotspots, because the time, money and labor previously needing to be invested in the building of signal towers would no longer be necessary. Of course, with this being only the initial launch, there are several connectivity challenges ahead, such as how to overcome geographical barriers like mountains and jungles. But once defeated, Project Loon could represent an entirely new way for those unreachable by traditional internet access methods to finally get connected to the World Wide Web. http://www.internet-serviceproviders.com/