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X’s Loon delivers internet by balloon to flood-ravaged Peru

For some time now, Facebook and Alphabet have been extolling the virtues of their airborne connectivity initiatives–Facebook’s giant Aquila drone and Project Loon balloons, from Alphabet’s X–as systems that can help bring internet service to people in the third world and areas impacted by disasters.

Today, X said that Loon has been providing connectivity to thousands of people in Peru, which has been hit hard by flooding. The “moonshots” division of Alphabet had already been testing Loon over Peru, so it was able to quickly jump into real-world action when the floods ravaged the country. “More than 160 GB of data has been sent to people over a combined area of 40,000 [square kilometers],” X wrote in a blog post, “roughly the size of Switzerland — and enough data to send and receive around 30 million WhatsApp messages, or 2 million emails.”DT