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Google is investing over $1 billion to connect the world to Internet

Posting in Technology

It's no secret that Google and Facebook are working on independent projects to bring the Internet to remote regions of the world.

Now, The Wall Street Journal has new information on Google's plan to connect the parts of the world where people have no or limited Internet access. According to WSJ's sources, Google plans to launch a fleet of 180 "small, high capacity" satellites that will orbit the Earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites. The price tag for this initial push is expected to top $1 billion.

It's all part of Google's ambitious initiative called Project Loon, that Google originally announced last June, which would use a network of high-altitude balloons. The company launched a pilot project, with 30 balloons, in New Zealand. The balloons have since caused a UFO scare in Kentucky and one crashed into a power line in Washington.

Earlier this year Google snatched up Titan Aerospace, a drone company, to work closely with Project Loon.

It makes sense that Google (and Facebook) are trying to connect more people to the Internet and get more eyeballs on their sites. But at what cost? One expert tells WSJ that the projects could cost more than the companies anticipate, perhaps as much as $20 billion.

Read on: Wall Street Journal

Image: Project Loon

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— By on June 2, 2014, 11:05 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure