credit: Project Loon / Youtube

Here’s The Impressive Way Google Is Providing Internet To Peru

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Balloons the size of tennis courts are providing the internet across Peru.

PROJECT LOON / YOUTUBE

For the last few months, Google has sent several internet-enabled balloons into Peru’s stratosphere, roughly 10 to 30 miles above the Earth, enabling thousands of Peruvians access to the internet they wouldn’t otherwise have. The program, known as Project Loon, has been in development by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, over the last few years.

“Project Loon” has provided much-needed internet accessibility to flood-damaged Peru.

PATENT YOGI / YOUTUBE

As the BBC reports, over the last three months, Peruvians have used the balloons to send 160 GB worth of data, which translates to “two million emails” or “30 million instant messages” that would not have been sent otherwise. As Project Loon engineer, Sal Candido, told the BBC, “The thing about stratosphere balloons is they’re 20km above us, and they’re way above a lot of the chaos that goes on down on the ground.” So as floods and other natural disasters ravage places like Peru, the balloons are relatively safe.

Project Loon has confronted many problems and has implemented several technical advancements.

PROJECT LOON / YOUTUBE

Project Loon’s technology is not without its problems. So far, the longest a balloon has been able to stay airborne is 190 days, which is impressive. However, some have crashed to Earth after only an hour-and-a-half. Once in the air, the balloons are guided by artificial intelligence capable of understanding weather patterns that keep them strategically located in the skies above Peru. The internet is provided by a local service provider. In the case of Peru, Spanish company Telefonica has provided Google’s balloons with internet and telephone services.

 

[H/T] BBC: Google’s balloons connect flood-hit Peru

 

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