Google is planning to spend over $1 billion — and possibly up to $3 billion — on satellites that can bring internet access to regions around the world that still don’t have connectivity, the Wall Street Journal reports. The project is said to kick off with 180 “small, high-capacity satellites” that circle around earth at lower altitudes than the traditional ones.

Google has been experimenting with helium balloons for internet access. A recent story from The Information also said that Google was exploring satellites as a way to deliver internet access, with evidence cited including Google’s recent hiring of Brian Holtz and Dave Bettinger, who come from companies that specialize in communication satellites.

In the meantime, Facebook has also been working on drones, satellites and lasers to help it reach regions that still don’t have internet access. Both Google and Facebook are hoping to bring more people online and ultimately gain more users who can bring in new revenue sources.

Google Invests in Satellites to Spread Internet Access [Wall Street Journal]

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