We are becoming increasingly more dependent on the internet to help run our lives. But much of the planet is outside the web, zones that are without web coverage. Ordinarily, this is more of a nuisance than a calamity. But in the aftermath of disasters, restoring internet coverage can be the difference between life and death.
Web giant Google has been working on a project that could bring the web where it's needed – be that remote rural farmsteads or areas recovering from a disaster. A series of balloons, flying in the stratosphere at a height twice that of commercial airliners, could be used to connect people to a network.
Google's Rich DeVaul talks to BBC Future about the Loon project, and how it could bring the internet to communities that might never otherwise be connected.
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