Internet for EverybodyFriday, December 29th, 2017, 10:24:50 AM

In Brief
  • Internet growth is phenomenal
  • More than half the world is still without internet
  • Project Loon is solving that problem using balloons

State of Internet Access

According to the International Telecommunications Union, as of June 2017, 48% of the world’s population has internet access.

Graph showing disparity in global internet users

The growth has been phenomenal. But there’s still a lot of work to do. About 3.6 billion people are still without internet access.

Using Balloons To Bring The World Online⠀⠀⠀

Project Loon, of the company X is using balloons to bring the rest of the world online.

Weather Balloon flying above a snowy mountain range

Each balloon acts as a cell tower above the clouds. The tennis sized balloons live in the stratosphere well above airplanes, wildlife and weather events. They’re durable and made to last more than 100 days each.

The winds of the stratosphere are stratified, with each layer of wind varying in speed and direction. Project Loon uses predictive models of the wind to move the balloons up and down in the strata, so they move in the right direction along the wind’s path. Very cool!

In regards to connectivity, a high-speed signal is transmitted from the ground to the nearest balloon, relayed across the network of balloons and back down to the areas that need it.

Tags
  • project loon
  • free internet
  • wifi balloons
  • global outreach
  • third-world development