July 28, Colombo: The Government of Sri Lanka today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Google to launch the Google Loon project in the country to provide affordable high-speed internet services to the entire country.
Foreign, Telecommunications and IT Minister Mangala Samaraweera announcing the initiative to cover the entire country with high-speed internet said Sri Lanka will be one of the first countries to have universal Wi-Fi connectivity.
"Using high altitude balloons Google Loon will cover every inch of Sri Lanka with seamless access to the internet. Sri Lanka is now on its way to becoming the first country in the world to have universal internet coverage," a statement said.
The Foreign minister noted that "from this event onwards advertisements or headlines saying "Matara covered" or "Jaffna covered" will become a part of history." And concluded his speech saying that he was "proud to declare that we are at the cusp of a reclaiming our heritage of being connected to each other and connected to the world. In a few months we will truly be able to say: Sri Lanka covered."
Speaking at the event, Google Vice President and Project Leader on GoogleX Project Loon, Mike Cassidy said Sri Lanka is the first country in the world to have Internet access covering the whole country with the government support.
He said that 13 balloons of Project Loon would be sufficient to cover the whole of Sri Lanka with 3G coverage.
This initiative would not have been possible without the support of LotusFlare, whose chairperson is a visionary member of the Sri Lankan diaspora, Chamath Palihapitya, and Project RAMA, the media statement said.
Project Loon is a research and development project being developed by Google with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas.