Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's … Google's Project Loon?!
Google is testing solar-powered hot air balloons in New Zealand that can beam high-speed Internet to rural areas, bypassing wires and bypassing the ground.
This project is the latest from the super-secret Google X development team. They're the same team responsible for both winning ideas like the driverless car and goofy ideas like the Google Glasses.
The solar-powered hot air balloons fly 60,000 feet above the ground, which is roughly 12 miles high. This amazing initiative goes hand-in-hand with the Google Fiber experiments, which deliver free high-speed Internet in Kansas City and elsewhere at speeds 100 times faster than monopolies and at a better price.
Since their business relies so heavily on ad revenue, Google is basically trying to provide a third pipe with high-speed fiber in urban areas and balloons in rural areas. Anything to get people online and using their search engine and interacting with their ads!
The reality is technology can't be bottled up and we will have steady alternatives to the vice of high prices and lack of innovation from the cable and phone monopolies that provide Internet to most Americans.