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Friday, January 22, 2021 – President Uhuru Kenyatta’s project to provide internet connectivity across Kenya is in limbo after Google shut down its Loon project due to its unviability.

The announcement was made on Friday by tech expert Astro Teller, who is in charge of the project that was under Google’s mother company, Alphabet.

The project was carried out in partnership with the Ministry of ICT and Telkom Kenya. 

The high-altitude stratospheric balloons provide internet access by creating an aerial wireless network, registering speeds of up to 1 Mbps.

The company cited that the Loon project was no longer commercially viable, adding that the exit was already in progress. 

“A small group of the Google Loon team will stay to ensure Loon’s operations are wrapped up smoothly and safely – this includes winding down Loon’s pilot service in Kenya,” Teller announced.  

Loon launched its first commercial internet service in Kenya in July 2020, consisting of a fleet of about 35 balloons that covered an area of around 50,000 square kilometres.

President Kenyatta had taken a special interest in the project and was hopeful that the new development would enable Kenya to retain her competitive advantages in ICT and innovation.

The Google representative thanked Kenya for providing the opportunity to offer its innovation and internet connectivity through the Loon project.


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