After FB, Google Discloses Its Internet Vision For India
Following Facebook’s announcement on offering free internet access to India, as part of its Internet.org program, its Google’s turn to bring its internet project to connect remote areas in the country. Google announced that its ambitious Project Loon will be commercially available by 2016. Under the Project Loon, Google plans to provide affordable Internet to everyone through Internet beaming helium balloons which will be travel 20km above the Earth’s surface, in the stratosphere. The internet giant also plans to launch the service in India, according to a report by The Times of India that suggests that Google is in talks with the Indian government to introduce the ambitious project.
Mohammad Gawdat, VP of business Innovation at Google X told the news site that the company plans to launch a commercial format that will allow coverage on “every square inch” on earth by 2016. He also said that the company is working ‘closely’ with telcos and governments across the world to achieve this.
Project Loon was kept secret by Google for a long time. Using software algorithms, Loon determines where the balloon needs to go depending upon the wind. It started as a pilot project in New Zealand wherein 30 balloons were launched. In November, Google announced that Project Loon has the ability to launch up to 20 balloons per day.
The company said in a blog post, it was possible because the autofill equipment had improved and the time to fill the balloon had come down under 5 minutes. “The balloons can now last up to 10 times longer in the stratosphere, than they did in 2013 and a lot of them have lasted over 100 days – with 130 days being a record,” it said.
Besides, Google is reportedly working on a wind power project with an ‘aeroplane-like kite that is tethered up to 300 metres to do a manoeuvre aided by the direction of the wind’. Its movements generate power. “We believe through this we should be able to get a 100% improvement on the current renewable technology out there. It will be available at a much cheaper cost,” Gawdat told TOI.
Google is also in talks with the Indian government to deploy this wind power project in the country. The company hopes to begin production by 2016, said the report.
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