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Stop the Secrecy

Slate: Solar. Powered. Internet balloons. Yes, please!

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 12:30 -- Eva Prkachin

You won't believe how Google plans to bring Internet access to remote areas.

Article by Will Oremus for Slate

The majority of people in the world lack access to the Internet. Either they can’t afford a connection, or none exists where they live. Of all the efforts to bring those people online, Google’s “Project Loon” sounds like the most far-fetched. At the secretive Google X labs, it’s a moonshot among moonshots.

But it just might be working.

When the search company announced in June 2013 that it was building “Wi-Fi balloons” to blanket the world’s poor, remote, and rural regions with Internet beamed down from the skies, expert reaction ranged from skeptical to dismissive—with good reason. The plans called for Google to put hundreds of solar-powered balloons in the air simultaneously, each coordinating its movements in an intricate dance to provide continuous service even as unpredictable, high-speed winds buffeted them about the stratosphere.

- Read more at Slate