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Google will spend $1 billion to blanket the Earth in Wi-Fi

Google will spend $1 billion to blanket the Earth in Wi-Fi
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Two-thirds of the world has no Internet access at all, and Google is looking to change that.

The search giant will be spending more than $1 billion on a number of satellites in order to expand the Internet's range across the globe.

"Google and Facebook are trying to figure out ways of reaching populations that thus far have been unreachable," said Susan Irwin, president of Irwin Communications Inc., a satellite-communications research firm. "Wired connectivity only goes so far and wireless cellular networks reach small areas. Satellites can gain much broader access."

Details have yet to be released, however, people familiar with the matter have said that the "project will start with 180 small, high-capacity satellites orbiting the Earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites, and then could expand."

The effort adds to the effort of providing Wi-Fi via Project Loon - the idea from Google to circle the globe with stratospheric balloons. The satellites will work closely with drones to provide Internet, as well as pair with the balloons from Project Loon.

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