Project Loon is set to circle the planet with Internet balloons in 2016 — from by Peter Dockrill
Around the world in 300 balloons.


Google’s Project Loon is a massively ambitious plan to provide Internet connectivity to areas of the planet that don’t already enjoy good access to the web. How? Via a huge fleet of helium balloons that hang in the stratosphere 20 kilometres above the surface, assembling to form a high-tech communication network that beams the web to the surface.

And the undertaking is only getting more ambitious, with the company announcing this week that it plans to circle the planet with a ring of Project Loon balloons that will provide a perpetual data service for those living underneath its path.





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Many of us think of the Internet as a global community. But two-thirds of the world’s population does not yet have Internet access. Project Loon is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.


From DSC:
I just reviewed Gerd Leonhard’s recent item — Redefining the relationship of man and machine: here is my narrated chapter from the ‘The Future of Business’ book .  Gerd asserts that we need to put together a “Digital Ethics Treaty” as soon as possible. (I agree.) So my thinking is influenced by some of his work in that area as I write this.  Gerd raises some solid questions and points about technology and what we should be doing with it (as opposed to what we can do with it).

Anyway, Project Loon could be a great thing for the world — i.e., getting more people connected to the Internet so that they can collaborate with, teach, and learn from others throughout the globe.  But there can be unintended consequences to our “technological progress” sometimes. Who controls what? What are they doing with these technologies and can we trust them? What’s someone’s motivation? In this case, it seems like a good thing…but the questions are worth discussing/asking. Especially as we’re moving forward at breakneck speeds!