Google's Wi-Fi Balloons Could Be Trialled In Australia In 2014

We know Project Loon, Google's crazy-cool plan to provide Wi-Fi coverage by floating balloons into the sky, will be given its first crack in New Zealand. But reports suggest Australia could get a chance to try it out next year, though you'll probably need to live south — deep south — if you want to be involved.

Now, Google decided the best place to test the balloons out, thanks to favourable weather conditions, is the 40th parallel south. In terms of the Asia Pacific, this neatly covers New Zealand's north island and... wait for it... Tasmania.

According to a story in The Age, Google is looking to get these Wi-Fi delivering balloons doing their thing in Australia halfway through 2014. It's speculated in the article that because of its positioning near the parallel, northern Tassie would be the ideal location for the trial.

Perhaps a few southern-dwelling Victorians might get in on the action as well, but we'll have to wait for Google to tell us the final details — though it'll be holding "discussions" with the Government before going ahead.

[The Age]

Image: Google


    Such a waste of helium...

      First thing would be to get the US to repeal it's legislation requiring that they piss their natural source of helium into space...

      Look it up.

        Yes i've read about that. Trying to get the US to do anything though is difficult. Hanging ballons in the air so you can have wifi at every square cm of your life is a waste...

          I don't think Google have mentioned what lift gas they'll be using.

          There's good reasons to use hydrogen instead though - cost is lower, flammability is a much smaller concern for unmanned balloons at that altitude, you get significantly more lift, and leakage of hydrogen can be replaced in-flight by splitting condensed water with a basic solar-powered electrolytic cracker.

    Also a wonderful aerial surveillance medium. Sorry, but I trust Americans about as far as I could throw up.

      Realistically, there's no way a balloon that size could carry the amount of optics needed to resolve anything significant from 20km distance. You'd be lucky to make out something the size of a car.

      Internet surveillance is another matter, but the Americans are already doing that through other channels. You should already be using strong encryption, if that's a concern.

    @zaphodity, Dude, the internet is a wonderful surveillance medium and you're on that to write your comment... A 21st century activist passes their protest on via clay tablet, didn't you get the clay memo they sent out?

    Last edited 16/06/13 6:28 pm

      Ever tried to win an argument with a 2 yearold? Thats what you're doing right now. You can't win.

    the best place to test the balloons out, thanks to favourable weather conditions, is the 40th parallel south

    wikipedia org/wiki/Roaring_Forties

    Nuf said.

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