In the past, Google has talked about the idea of launching hot air balloons in order to bring internet access to remote regions. Being touted as ‘Project Loon‘, Google is now taking early steps to test the practicality of the initiative. To that end, the company has now launched a pilot project in New Zealand.
In the pilot project, Google will be launching helium-filled and solar-powered balloon which will connect 50 testers in different locations. These balloons will be able to go twice as high as commercial airplanes and users will then use customized antennas to receive their signals and access internet through them.
The idea is certainly very intriguing and can be very helpful in bringing internet access to such remote regions where regular telecom infrastructure is non-existent. In fact, Google hopes that in the coming days, it will also be able to bring cellular access to such remote regions with the help of the hot air balloons.
Not only that, the costs of laying down the entire infrastructure often tends to be too much for the common consumers, making internet access somewhat as a luxury. On the other hand, launching ‘internet’ balloons and letting users connect with them through antennas may trim down the costs significantly, making internet access affordable for a huge populace.
Since the first pilot phase of Project Loon is based in New Zealand, users in the country can sign up for the service by browsing to the official website here.