Google has written to the Federal Communications Commission to assure regulators that the company’s “Project Loon” Internet-beaming balloons pose no threat to anyone — when it comes to radiation, anyway. (A balloon has come down unexpectedly during testing at least once.)
As designed, the balloons would float over areas poorly served by Internet providers, at a height of about 60,000 feet, sending and receiving signals from ground-based antennas. Google is planning tests of the transmission system, and is looking to get out in front of potential objections.
In the letter, Google’s Aparna Sridhar writes “Some commenting parties worry that the radio-frequency (RF) energy from Google’s proposed testing could harm humans, animals, or plants in the vicinity of the test operations. The proposed experimental operations in fact present vastly less risk from RF exposure than other transmissions the Commission routinely authorizes. Thus although we respect that the commenters’ [sic] concerns are genuinely held, there is no factual basis for them.”