By B.N. Frank
Opposition continues to increase regarding satellites and similar vehicles being launched to blast WiFi and 5G from way up high (see 1, 2, 3).
Other vehicles include Google Loons which have not proven to be cost effective.
Alphabet shuts down Loon internet balloon company
Google’s parent firm, Alphabet, is done exploring the idea of using a fleet of balloons to beam high-speed internet in remote parts of the world.
The firm said on Thursday evening that it was winding down Loon, a nine-year-old project and a two-and-a-half-year-old spin-off firm, after failing to find a sustainable business model and partners for one of its most prominent moonshot projects.
The demise of Loon, which assumed the spotlight after the project helped restore cell services knocked out by a hurricane in Puerto Rico, comes a year after the Android-maker ended Google Station, its other major connectivity effort to bring internet to the next billion users.
Through Station, Google provided internet connectivity at over 400 railway stations in India and sought to replicate the model in other public places in more nations.
That said, Alphabet’s move today is still surprising. Just last year, Loon had secured approval from the government of Kenya to launch balloons to provide commercial connectivity services — something it did successfully achieve months later, giving an impression that things were moving in the right direction.
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