Alphabet Scraps Plan To Blanket Globe With Internet Balloons
MOUNTAIN VIEW (dpa-AFX) - Executives at Google's Project Loon, an ambitious effort to circulate broadband-emitting balloons across the globe, said they have found ways to run the program with fewer balloons.
Rather than building a worldwide network, the team will now launch a small number of balloons into particular regions that need internet access. That will accelerate the project's path toward becoming an actual commercial operation, the Loon team said. The announcement is consistent with moves across Google parent Alphabet Inc. to curb costs at its riskier, expensive projects.
In 2013, Google ran its first tests for Project Loon. On Thursday, the company said that's not necessary anymore.
"We can now run an experiment with 10 or 20 or 30 balloons. The service has a much better chance of ultimately being profitable." said Astro Teller, the head of X, the Alphabet division that houses Project Loon.
Teller said the team will be testing with telecommunications providers "in the coming months."
Loon engineers turned to the computing power of Google to improve the navigational system of the balloons, the company said Thursday.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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