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.

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.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.