Balloons bring high-speed internet access

BBC News reports that SkyLinc is planning on providing high-speed internet access to the UK using balloons. 18 of them, to be exact.

The plan is to use a set of balloons in 18 stationary positions around the UK to bring wireless internet to the whole country, form the inner city to the highlands of Scotland.

The balloons will be tethered to hold them in place and to provide them with data access via fiber-optic cable. At a height of 1.5km, they will be much lower than a similar satellite technology, but the bandwidth provided by the fiber be substantially greater than that available with conventional satellite technology.

SkyLinc did trials last September and is expected to roll out services in January of 2004.