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January 9, 2014

Brazil to bring internet to rural communities via balloons

The new internet via balloons is scheduled to be trailed in a remote area in June 2014.

By CBR Staff Writer

Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) is working on a project that will allow rural communities to access internet via balloons.

The Conectar project is aimed at bringing internet-transmitting stations by floating internet-transmitting balloons over isolated Amazon regions to provide access to internet to communities residing in those regions.

In mid-last year, Google also trialled similar scheme dubbed ‘Loon project’, aimed at making Internet accessible in remote areas in southern hemisphere with a network created by balloons.

INPE researcher Jose Angelo Neri told SciDevNet that his organisation’s project and the Google scheme should not be compared as they are different technologies and independent proposals.

"The balloon will work as a transmission tower," Neri said.

"Being at an altitude above conventional towers – 300 metres from the ground – it will reach a large area through wireless connections."

The new internet via balloons is scheduled to be trialled in a remote area in June 2014, with the original system being commissioned in north-east Brazil later this year.

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