NEW YORK - Google's parent company is giving up on a project to provide internet in hard-to-reach places by delivering it via balloons in the stratosphere.
Project Loon planned to provide access to a billion people across the globe who still don't have the internet.
Alphabet announced the project in 2013 to build a ring of balloons flying around the globe.
Alastair Westgarth, the CEO of Loon announced the closure in a blog post on Thursday. He says they could not figure out a way to get the costs low enough to build a sustainable business.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!
The test balloons that the company launched provided speeds similar to current LTE/4G networks over a ground area about 80km in distance. The balloons were powered by solar panels during the day and a rechargeable battery during the night.
The balloons were designed to last for hundreds of days in the stratosphere. The record for flight duration was 300 days, according to the Loon website.
The balloons were sometimes mistaken for UFOs, as happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year.