Alphabet Ends Effort to Provide Internet From Balloons
By Matt Grossman
Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, is winding down an
initiative that aimed to provide internet access in remote areas of
the world from high-flying balloons.
The project, known as Loon, used balloons flying in the
stratosphere to beam internet coverage to areas 200 times larger
than can be served by typical cell towers, Alphabet said. But Loon
was not able to reduce costs enough to make the business
sustainable, the project's leader, Alastair Westgarth, wrote on
Thursday in a blog post that was linked from Loon's website.
In 2013, Google introduced Loon as a project that could help
make internet access affordable in less developed countries.
The project's balloons lacked propulsion and drifted above the
planet's surface with the surrounding air. Loon worked on
developing navigational control by programming the balloons to
climb or descend in order to find favorable winds.
Write to Matt Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 22, 2021 08:02 ET (13:02 GMT)
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