Alphabet shuts down its Loon Internet balloon project
Alphabet shuts down its Loon Internet balloon project

According to the new blog, Alphabet Loon has shut down the internet section dedicated to floating balloons.

Loon, which previously used giant balloons to send the Internet to people in remote parts of the world, has announced that it will stop working.

Alastair Westgarth, CEO of Loon, stated that the company's business model is ultimately unsustainable: “We found that many partners were willing to work with us, but we couldn't find a way to cut costs to build a sustainable long-term business.”

Astro Teller, who heads the semi-secret research firm X Development, writes: The road to economic viability has turned out to be longer and more risky than expected. In the next few months we will start completing the operations and Loon will not be the alphabet. Place a bet.

The Loon Project was born in 2011. The company has been tested for many years and separated from X Development to become an independent subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. In 2018.

The Loon Project launched the first commercial internet service in Kenya in July. The project consists of a fleet of about 35 balloons over an area of ​​approximately 50 thousand square kilometers.

The project also provided Internet services to areas affected by natural disasters. Balloons were deployed in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017 and in Peru after the 2019 earthquake.

Teller said the project has moved employees to other roles in X Development, Google and Alphabet.

Teller said a small portion of the Loon team was still working to ensure a smooth and safe end to operations, including the termination of testing services in Kenya.

A spokesperson for X Development said that Loon's service in Kenya will continue through March.

To help those likely to be affected by the loss of Loon's services in Kenya, the project pledges $ 10 million to support non-profit organizations and Kenyan companies that deal with telecommunications, the Internet, entrepreneurship, and education.

Loon isn't the first project that Alphabet has finished, as Makani canceled last year the use of wind turbines on kites to generate electricity.

In 2016, Alphabet also completed the Foghorn Project, which looked at how to make clean fuel from seawater.

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