Google’s high-altitude internet balloons will soon connect all of Sri Lanka
In 2011, Google began developing Project Loon, an experimental program to provide free internet access to people in remote rural areas, using high-altitude balloons floating in the stratosphere. After test runs in New Zealand, Brazil, and the US, Project Loon is finally ready to launch. In 2016, Google will deploy balloons all over Sri Lanka, filling in its coverage gaps and effectively blanketing the entire island nation with broadband internet.
13 helium-filled balloons should be ready by March. They’ll be placed in the stratosphere—roughly 12 miles (19 kilometers) up in the sky, scraping the edge of space. That’s about twice as high as the altitude at which most commercial planes fly. Earthlings can then connect to the floating balloon network directly from their phones. Each balloon covers up to 25 miles (40 km) in diameter on the ground.
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