Google plans to launch balloons into near space in a bid to offer internet access to buildings below on the ground.
Around 30 superpressure balloons will leave New Zealand and drift around the planet on a controlled path.
Equipment attached to them will provide 3G-like speeds to 50 testers.
Despite the fact that access will be intermittent, the search engine giant hopes to eventually build a large enough fleet to give reliable links to people residing in remote areas.
It believes that balloons may one day be sent to disaster-hit areas to offer support during rescue missions when ground communication equipment has been compromised.
The balloons are 15m in diameter and filled with lifting gases. Electronic equipment hangs underneath to power the gear.
Each balloon is expected to stay aloft for around 100 days.
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