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Project Loon is a Google project involving sending hot air balloons to the stratosphere in order to deliver Wi-Fi access to rural and underserved areas. Many of these Google balloons are already in flight and have been able to connect some communities, such as those in New Zealand and other isolated areas, to the global Internet.
Project Loon started in 2011 after much discussion and a delayed plan in 2008. The first balloons flew over areas of California. In 2013, Google did a pilot project in New Zealand with about 30 balloons. Since then, the scope and volume of the project have steadily expanded.
Now that Google has refined this technique of sending out balloons, it is lobbying governments to provide different slices of the electromagnetic spectrum for Internet access. There are also several suggestions that Google is set to expand this program, building it up in the same way that it has built other programs such as driverless car initiatives. Some analysts are calling these types of ambitious projects as “moon shots,” arguing that, with great resources at its disposal, Google is tackling some nearly impossible goals and really innovating the ways that humans use technology.