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This article was published on January 20, 2015

Google wants new FCC wireless spectrum for drones and internet balloons

Google wants new FCC wireless spectrum for drones and internet balloons Image by: Duncan Innes
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

Elon Musk may be trying to share the internet in remote places using high-altittude devices, but Google has been working on a similar idea since 2013 with Project Loon.

Wireless airwaves are already quite cluttered, however, so Google is requesting new spectrum above the 24 GHz range to deliver signals from its internet balloons.

Although those bands have typically been considered poor for mobile services, the company sent the FCC a letter suggesting the new bands could “be useful for offering broadband access via airborne platforms such as high-altitude balloons or unmanned aerial vehicles.”

This suggests the new airwaves could also be used for future Google drones (given the company’s acquisition of Titan Aerospace in April). It also describes uses such as high definition video streaming, unlicensed broadband services or even “entirely new technologies and innovations.”

Of course, it benefits Google to have more ways for people to connect to its services, but there’s no denying the current wireless space needs more breathing room.

➤ Google Says Drones, Balloons Could Use New Spectrum for Internet Access [Wall Street Journal]