Sri Lankans are going to see more balloons in their skies this next March, as Google sealed a countrywide launch of its Project Loon internet service.
The agreement, which was signed Tuesday, will allow Google to spread an entire 3G-speed network of free internet-beaming balloons down to the 20.5 million inhabitants of the island. The AFP reports that the balloons will stay up for 100 days and will be guided by algorithms that measure air currents in the stratosphere. This will be the first known instance of a country adopting universal internet access.
Of course, this isn't without some precedence—Google has been hammering out some of the prominent issues with the project since its beginnings around 2011. Since then, the company has been host to a number of issues holding back its plans of shooting up stratospheric internet balloons.
One of those issues, for instance, is letting people know they're not UFOs. Or actually controlling the things, which need to be able to latch onto air currents to maintain direction and stay aloft. Or maintaining condom-like resilience to air leaking.
But it looks like the project's moving along pretty swiftly for an idea conceived just a few years ago. Though, it's important to note that shooting up internet-carrying weather balloons is a lot more easily implemented than routing cars and telling them to drive themselves. Pipe dreams are getting a little realer every year.