We have been covering how Google may provide internet access to those users who don’t have it yet for a while now. While the Submarine Cable Negotiator job at Google was pretty interesting, I think this new story may be even more interesting.
Floating a New Idea For Going Wireless, Parachute Included from the Wall Street Journal reports how Google is interested in possibly using disposable hydrogen-filled balloons packed with miniature versions of cellphone towers inside of them to provide internet access to those people who have a hard time getting it. Space Data Corp creates these balloons and launches 10 balloons a day across the Southern U.S. The balloons fly about 20 miles up in the sky, providing reception to towns that do not have cell phone towers.
Space Data says that a single balloon can serve an area otherwise requiring 40 cell towers. It is a cheap and efficient method of providing cell phone and wireless mobile access, and that is why Google is reportedly interested in the technology.
Here is a quick video from the Wall Street Journal that explains this much better than I can: