Google’s Balloon-based Internet Dream: Loon or Loony?

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I can’t even remember how many times in the past I have chuckled at the idea of a blimp/balloon-based internet. I guess it was because those ideas were promoted by companies that sounded a bit flim-flammy or sometimes, just plain nuts.

Of course, now we might have to take this whole balloon-based broadband thing seriously — Google (s GOOG) is putting a lot of money, time and effort behind it. In a blog post, the company announced Project Loon:

Today we’re unveiling our latest moonshot from Google[x]: balloon-powered Internet access. We believe that it might actually be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below.  It’s very early days, but we’ve built a system that uses balloons, carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, to beam Internet access…

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