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Gods' own broadband: Loon option for DEITY

Alphabet eyes another billion

Alphabet has its eye on its next billion, reportedly holding meetings in India to get Project Loon off the ground.

The country's IT minister, responsible for the gloriously-named DEITY (Department of Electronics and Information Technology), expressed his interest in the project late last week.

The move would add India to the growing list of countries whose carriers are interested in reselling Loon-based services to their users.

The Wall Street Journal reckons DEITY's minister Ajay Kumar would confirm only that after a meeting with the company, the matter is “under consideration”.

Loon would be attractive to a country with only around 17 per cent connectivity to the Internet (according to the World Bank, and precious little of those as broadband).

Even of the roughly 200 million Internet users, around 190 million don't have broadband, making India an acid test for Loon's ability to scale.

While DEITY might have its eye on the sky, there's no indication that Alphabet has secured the cooperation of the key on-the-ground partners – India's mobile carriers. Alphabet's late-October Indonesian deal, by contrast, lined up the ducks in the form of all three of that country's mobile providers signed on. ®

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