Sri Lanka provides internet to rural areas using Google internet balloons, perhaps a call for India to consider such viable options

By August 1st, 2015 AT 3:25 PM

Google balloons will soon be up in the air floating above Sri Lanka, providing internet to millions of Sri Lankan rural mass! Being committed to the mission of providing high-speed affordable internet access to rural areas, Sri Lanka has partnered with Google to use its balloons that beam signals from sky.

Google internet balloons

Introduced in 2013, Google internet balloons, popularly known as Google Project Loon 2013 uses helium-filled, hi-tech balloons made from polythene film float in the stratosphere about 20km above the Earth to beam signals. The balloons are equipped with flight computers and the altitudes are controlled from the ground, keeping them moving along a desired channel by using different winds at different heights. Users would need to install a receiver in the ground to get signal.

Claiming to be cheaper than the traditional fibre cables, the transmitter on each balloon would beam down the internet to an area of about 1250 sq.km. They are floated at a height twice as high as airplanes and will not be visible to naked eyes.

Through the partnership with Google, the villages lying along the stretch of Dondra (south) to Point Pedro (northern) in Sri Lanka will receive internet connections. Local service providers will also have access to balloons, reducing their operational costs. This can even enhance the quality of the service providers. The prices may also come down.

Google will finish sending up the balloons for the purpose by March 2016. Thousands of balloons will be floated for providing coverage to the entire island.

Sri Lanka has always been in the forefront when it comes to technology. The country is the first in South Asia to introduce mobile phones in 1989. It was also the first country to roll out 3G network in 2004. Sri Lanka introduced 4G two years ago. Now with Google Project Loon, Sri Lanka will be the first country in Indian Ocean region with complete coverage.

It is high time that Indian government soon adopt such feasible methods for providing coverage. Google was reported to be in talks with India to introduce Google Project Loon in India.

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