Project Loon: Internet For All

Project Loon: Internet For All

The internet has become part of the everyday priority needs in people’s lives, and yet, according to recent statistics, not many people seem to have access to it. As a respond to this issue, Google has launched one of its biggest projects to provide the whole world with free internet. The project is called “Project Loon” which is a network mainly composed of balloons floating at the edge of the sky designed to keep people connected all the time, especially to those living in rural and remote areas, and even in times of disasters.

Basically, the balloons float twenty km far above the earth in the stratosphere layer. According to science, in the stratosphere, there are many layers of wind, and each layer of wind varies in direction and speed. Loon balloons use algorithm software to go where they’re needed by rising or descending into a layer of wind blowing in the desired direction of travel. By the latter process, the balloons can be arranged to form a large communicational network, and therefore, provide a free wireless internet for all.

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Each balloon is consisted of an inflatable part called a balloon envelope, solar panels to power up the electronics of each balloon, and a small box containing the balloon’s electronics hanged underneath the envelope. In 2013, thirty balloons were launched from New Zealand’s South Island for a small group of pilot testers. Since then, the pilot test has expanded over a large number of people over wider areas. The project has even started two years before its launching, and ever since then, the project has been developing by the team of Google members in order to avoid malfunctions.

According to the project, each balloon can provide the internet to areas that are far about 40 km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE. In order to use the latter technology, Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to get access to Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices. Balloons relay wireless traffic from cell phones and other devices back to the global Internet using high-speed links.

So far Project Loon has been launched in many remote areas. One of the targeted areas that Google is considering to launch the project is Sri Lanka, which is a small country with very few people who have access to the outside world through Internet. However, Google’s Project Loon is about to change that by using its balloons to beam wireless internet to service providers throughout the country for free. By doing so, every individual living in that place will be provided with free Internet.

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