Loon internet balloons are officially ending

Eight years after the introduction of an unusual new wireless internet service delivered via a network of balloons flying at a height of 20 kilometers, the Loon project is to be completed.

In 2013, Alphabet, the parent company of Google’s search giant, planned to use the balloons and their solar-powered network devices to bring another billion people into the online space and provide wireless broadband from the sky in areas with poor infrastructure. The project began with a test in New Zealand, where 50 internet connections were provided with just one helium balloon.

Alphabet was expected to offer a cheaper way to connect to the Internet. At the time, the company said access to the Internet would be too expensive for more than half of the countries in the southern hemisphere. Loon gained fame later when he played a key role in restoring connectivity after a hurricane hit Puerto Rico in 2017 and also in 2019 in Peru after the earthquake. The project appears to have succeeded because it followed the Waymo Autonomous Vehicles division from X’s labs (owned by Google) and in July 2018, the project became a separate subsidiary of Alphabet.

Unfortunately, the dream of providing cheap internet with a balloon will no longer become a reality. The CEO of Loon Alastair Westgarth confirmed the end of the project through a blog post on the Medium platform. “Although we have found a number of willing partners, we have not found a way to reduce costs low enough to build a long-term and sustainable business.” Westgarth announced the closure of the division, adding: Loon tried to solve the most difficult problem in terms of connectivity – the last billion users. “

Loon currently operates services in Kenya with business partners and will continue to do so until March 2021. Loon has also set up a $ 10 million fund to help support further Internet connection efforts in the country. X’s Taara project, which uses wireless technology originally developed for Loon, will continue to operate in the country.

Resources: X, Medium

Source: Technológie by pc.zoznam.sk.

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