Google partners with Telstra to test Project Loon in Australia

Having already conducted tests in New Zealand, Google will test its connectivity-spouting Project Loon balloons in Australia next month in partnership with local carrier Telstra, according to reports. The Australian Associated Press reported Monday that the agreement will see Google test 20 balloons in the west of the Queensland, with Telstra providing base stations and access to its radio spectrum. Project Loon aims to provide connectivity to hard-to-reach places through an airborne mesh network comprising a floating ring of balloons that follows the winds around the world. As my colleague Kevin Fitchard has noted, there will be serious political and regulatory hurdles to jump if this is to become reality.