Alphabet X lab retains Project Loon, despite incorporation
Project Loon, an effort to commercialize balloon-distributed internet access, began life under Google’s control in the X lab. Since then, it has been transferred to Google’s new parent company, Alphabet, and has made launched service tests in Peru.
The FCC announced that Project Loon would offer balloons to facilitate connections in Puerto Rico, an island slammed by two intense hurricanes this summer and it was found by Business Insider to have been incorporated as Loon Inc., potentially signalling that the operation was being prepared to turn a profit.
The X lab says it is not the case and that Project Loon is still under its control.
— The Team at X (@Theteamatx) October 16, 2017
Project Loon’s chief Alastair Westgarth told Mobile World Live in September that he expected the company to become profitable in the next couple of years, but that revenue operations would be done through selling infrastructure to network operators — Loon would not be its own carrier or ISP, unlike Google-controlled Project Fi.