Project Loon: Google on track to have 300 automated balloons beaming internet to earth

Company aims to provide continuous internet in some areas by next year

Google has said that it is on track to have enough balloons in the earth’s stratosphere to form a ring round part of the world, from which it can deliver continuous internet to those living below.

The scheme, titled Project Loon, will soon see up to 300 high pressure balloons beaming internet down from 12 miles above.

The balloons are currently being trialled in the southern hemisphere, and Indonesia has begun tests in conjunction with three of its mobile phone operators. Sri Lanka is also expected to begin trials.

Speaking to the BBC, Mike Cassidy, vice-president of Project Loon, said that if all goes according to plan then continuous internet will be available in some areas by next year.

He said that Google needs “about 300 balloons or so to make a continuous string around the world”.

He added: “As one moves along with the wind out of range, another one comes to take its place.

“We hope next year to build our first continuous ring around the world, and to have some sort of continuous coverage for certain regions.

“And if all goes well after, then after that we will start rolling out our first beta commercial customers.”

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