Alphabet drops dream of drones providing internet

January 12, 2017
A high altitude WiFi internet hub, a Google Project Loon balloon, seen on display at the Airforce Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand

Google parent company Alphabet confirmed that it is opting for balloons instead of drones in its quest to deliver internet service from the sky.

Alphabet, which not only owns Google but also Google X, which is devoted to creating world-changing new technologies, told AFP on Wednesday that it gave up on its internet drone project, called Titan, about a year ago.

Its staff moved elsewhere at X, including a project called Loon focused on creating a network of high-altitude balloons that would provide to people on the ground no matter how remote.

Some people from the team also shifted to Project Wing, which is creating delivery drones, according to an X division spokesperson.

"The team from Titan was brought into X in late 2015," the spokesperson said in an email to AFP.

"We ended our exploration of high altitude UAVs () for shortly after."

The economics and technical feasibility of balloons are seen as a more promising way to connect rural and remote parts of the world to the internet, according to X.

Leading online social network Facebook is continuing to develop an Aquila drone for beaming internet connection from the sky.

Alphabet Inc. founders Sergey Brin (L) and Larry Page

Explore further: Google asks for airspace access for internet balloons

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