Google wants to bring Wi-Fi to the world by launching high-altitude internet-equipped balloons in an effort dubbed Project Loon. The hope is that these balloons will bring internet access to rural and remote areas of Africa and Southeast Asia, as well as right here in the US—and Google has just announced that they are testing their project in California’s Central Valley. In an announcement on the Project Loon Google+ page, Google put out a call for participants to help in the next round of trial runs.
The Google+ post states that Project Loon is “looking for folks in the area who are willing to have a Loon Internet antenna installed on their house or small business building to help test the strength of the Loon Internet connection. When balloons fly overhead, the Loon Internet antennas will generate traffic that will load-test our service.”
The pilot testing began in June in New Zealand where about 30 balloons were launched and about 50 users participated in Christchurch and Canterbury. The ultimate goal is to have thousands of balloons flying around the world in the stratosphere so everyone can have access to the Internet.
To participate in the Central Valley research flights, “residents of Madera, Chowchilla, Mariposa, Merced or Turlock who own a single family home or business building with an Internet connection” need to fill out an online survey.