06/02/2014 12:57 am ET Updated Jun 02, 2014

Google Said To Be Building Its Own Fleet Of Satellites


Google is aiming for the sky.

According to a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday, the tech giant is planning to invest more than $1 billion on a fleet of satellites. The goal: To bring Internet access to every corner of the globe, no matter how remote.

The satellites are likely to be small and high-capacity, and will orbit the Earth at "lower altitudes than traditional satellites," the Journal reported.

Google will reportedly start the project with a fleet of 180 satellites, with a possibility of future expansion.

Although an unnamed spokeswoman did not comment specifically on the satellite project, she told the newspaper that Google hopes to bring Internet access to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who aren't currently online.

"Internet connectivity significantly improves people's lives," she said. "Yet two thirds of the world have no access at all."

This isn't the first time that Google's sky-high dreams have made headlines. Last June, Google announced its investment in high-altitude balloons designed to provide Internet service to remote parts of the world; and in April, the company purchased Titan Aerospace, a maker of high-altitude, solar-powered drone satellites.

"Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world," Google said in a statement following the purchase. "It's still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation."

With its satellites, balloons and drones, Google seems to be well on its way to achieving its goal of bringing Internet access to the as-yet unserved and underserved regions of the globe. The company, however, isn't alone in its efforts. Earlier this year, Facebook announced that it was launching a drone and satellite project of its own.

"We've been working on ways to beam Internet to people from the sky," Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said in March. "Our to make affordable access to basic internet services available to every person in the world."



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