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Google starts testing its ‘Wi-Fi balloons’ in California

Published Aug 9th, 2013 11:15PM EDT
Google Project Loon Tests

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Regardless of what Bill Gates thinks, Google is going ahead with its initiative to improve Internet access in Africa with large balloons that can send Wi-Fi signals to rural parts of the continent. Google said this week that it’s started running tests of its Project Loon balloons in California’s Central Valley “to research various approaches for improving the technology, like the power systems (solar panel orientation and batteries), envelope design, and radio configuration.” The company has already been testing out the balloons in both New Zealand and some parts of Africa, although there’s still no timetable for when Google’s balloons will be ready to deliver service.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.