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Alphabet’s X lab chief sees Internet reaching billions

The “captain of moonshots” at Google parent company Alphabet sees widespread, world-changing wireless Internet on the horizon.

Astro Teller, head of the boundary pushing X research team, shared his vision of the future during a talk at the TED Conference here late Monday.

project-loon-goole-16022016Teller shared insights into the X team’s balloon-powered high-speed Internet service known as “Project Loon,” which aims to get billions more people online by reaching remote or rural regions that are not yet connected.

“There is a lot of different technology out there, rolling them out will be complicated,” Teller said. “But, somewhere between five and ten years, it will change the world in ways we can not possibly imagine.”

Project Loon began its first tests in Sri Lanka on Monday ahead of a planned joint venture with the government there, the country’s top IT official told AFP.

It promises to extend coverage and cheaper rates for data services.

Service providers will be able to access higher speeds and improve the quality of their existing service once the balloon project is up and running.

Once in the stratosphere, the balloons will be twice as high as commercial airliners and barely visible to the naked eye.

Teller told the TED audience that he expected Project Loon balloons to be tested over Indonesia this year.

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