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Revealed: Google’s plan to float BLIMP NETWORK over Africa, Asia

Bill Ray
The Register [1]
May 29, 2013

Google is poised to flood Africa with uncontrolled connectivity via TV White Space frequencies, according theĀ Wall Street Journal, though other wireless technologies will contribute to the mix.

TheĀ report [2], citing the usual “people familiar”, doesn’t say how much Mountain View will be investing in the project, only that it will blanket rural areas – including sub-Saharan Africa and south-east Asia – and will probably rely on a variety of techniques for backhaul, including high-altitude platforms (blimps) and satellites.

Realistically, such esoteric technologies will only be needed in the most rural of areas; they’re unnecessary anywhere a microwave relay can be sited with a reliable power feed (and not stolen). More than a billion people live in such areas, and White Space spectrum is the ideal way to address the last 20, 30 or 40 miles of connectivity.

White Spaces are radio frequencies not being used locally for TV transmissions, resulting from a historical anomaly. TV was an early claimant on radio frequencies and thus got allocated some of the best bands, in the 500MHz to 600MHz region, so those bands have always been off limits for internet access.

Full article here [1]