Project Loon prepares to head to the Amazon rainforest

Google’s Project Loon kickstarted an ambitious plan to seed internet connections to residents of territories where internet access is lacking, and earlier this year, the firm hit a momentous milestone of totalling over 1 million hours of continuous stratospheric flight. Now, the company has revealed a new plan to roll out Loon-based internet service to previously unconnected regions of Peru.

Hot on the heels of having signed a recent contract to offer commercial services in Kenya, Project Loon will now owrk alongside Peruvian internet service provider Internet Para Todos Perú to provide access to parts of the Loreto region of the Amazon. The deal will provide internet access to around 200,000 people.

The deal is one of the first initiatives Project Loon has undertaken to deliver continuous and secure internet access. The company previously provided internet access in Northern Peru, following flooding disasters in 2017.

Project Loon’s weather balloons will float around 20km above sea level, and will transmit 4G service from local internet providers. Though the deal looks set to go ahead, it is presently awaiting regulatory approval from Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The news will likely see titans clash to offer affordable internet plans to various regions around the world under similar auspices. Though Facebook shelved its plans to provide internet coverage from its Aquila drone, SpaceX has upped the ante with plans to create a network of satellites, branded as Starlink, which will collaboratively beam high-speed satellite broadband down to various regions of the globe.

It remains to be seen what future regions Project Loon might service, and Alphabet (the holding company that owns Google and, by extension, Project Loon) has remained tight-lipped.

What are your thoughts? Could these initiatives feasibly help connect remote regions around the globe? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.