Project Loon sounded like another Google April Fool’s Day joke.
Okay, Google, you’re going to float balloons over developing countries to provide internet? Yeah right.
Google, however, wasn’t kidding. In fact, Project Loon has been doing remarkably well during testing over the skies of New Zealand.
And in 2015, Google may be ready to put Project Loon to practical use. More importantly, Project Loon may be able to deliver 22Mbit/sec download speeds.
That’s a huge improvement from one year ago. In fact, it’s a 10x improvement from last year’s efforts.
One year ago, Google revealed during an interview that balloons could only stay in the air for a few days and deliver 2Mbit/sec internet speed. Nobody was impressed.
Today, Google claims its balloons offer speeds of 22Mbits/sec to antennas and 5Mbits/sec to handsets. They can stay in the air for 75 days in a row and Google is aiming to increase that to 100 days before long.
By June 2015, Google could be ready to offer its services to the world and move out of the lab. That’s just two years after Project Loon launched.
Google would offer its service in certain areas by providing a permanent network of balloons. This could cover un-served rural areas in the United States, for example, or even provide internet coverage to developing parts of the world.
Google’s Project Loon balloons are just one way in which Google is delivering service to certain parts of the world. Google also aims to provide internet service through satellites and drones.
22mbit per second is pretty good if you ask me. I’ve spent lots of time in rural Canada where only one provider offers limited service at a max speed of 10Mbits/second. Or, there’s no internet service at all. I even have one friend still on dialup.
For these people, Project Loon could provide a huge improvement in life.
But for people in developing countries, internet service could change the fate of their nations.

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