project loonOne of the goals of Google’s Project Loon is to help bring internet and communications to the masses in places where such infrastructures have yet to be setup. Also given that Project Loon will rely on balloons floating in the sky as opposed to using regular cell towers, we can only imagine that it should be able to cover a wider area, but how wide?

According to Google who spoke to the folks at ArsTechnica, it has been revealed that a single balloon from Google’s Project Loon is able to provide service to an area the size of Rhode Island. For those who are trying to imagine how big that is, the size of Rhode Island is about 77km north to south, and 59.5km east to west, although a single balloon actually has a cover diameter of 80km which is close enough.

According to Google, “The main cost gain comes from the fact that you can cover a much bigger region with existing infrastructure. Telcos take their preexisting infrastructure, point them to the sky, and they get a much broader coverage. For instance, if you already have towers to cover a city, you can point part of it to the sky, and you will be able to cover the whole region through the loon balloon network.”

For those living in the US, chances are you might not be able to experience Project Loon as the US is not one of the markets Google is targeting, at least not at the start as the company is looking more towards developing countries who might be able to benefit more from the service. Google software engineer Johan Mathe was quoted as saying, “For some countries, having Internet once a day for an hour is a huge deal.”

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