Google Is Full of Hot Air

The Internet is afire with news that Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) plans to float Internet-delivering balloons 12.5 miles above New Zealand. My colleagues couldn't be more pleased. I couldn't be more nonplussed. The news does nothing for investors.

Yeah, I know, I sound like a party pooper. You'll hate me even more after you watch Google's introductory video for Project Loon:

Project Loon promotional video. Source: Google.

"Someday soon, everyone will really mean everyone." Internet egalitarianism never sounded so cute, or so awesome. Cheaper, faster, everywhere. What's not to love? Nothing. Until, that is, you look under the hood: Project Loon will deliver Internet service at... 3G speeds.

So five years ago, in other words. Especially here in the U.S., where AT&T announces new 4G sites constantly in a race to catch up with Verizon. So coveted is broadband spectrum that Sprint Nextel and DISH Network are headed to court to fight over beleaguered wireless provider Clearwire. Sprint is seeking to block DISH's latest bid of $4.40 a share.

Google isn't trying to create the next Clearwire via Project Loon. Not yet, anyway. Instead, the goal is to bring at least some Internet access to areas of the world that have no alternative. It's admirable, but it's not an extension of the Google Fiber effort. Balloons delivering 3G would be worthless to users in regions where faster speeds already exist.

How about we celebrate Project Loon for what it actually is: a gentle reminder that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are as much interested in making the world a better place as they are in making a profit.

Do you agree? Leave leave a comment to let us know what you think of Project Loon, and whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.

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  • Report this Comment On June 19, 2013, at 10:49 PM, jswap1 wrote:

    "Project Loon is a gentle reminder that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are as much interested in making the world a better place"

    "I couldn't be more nonplussed."

    -----------

    Tim, you're a hell of a guy

  • Report this Comment On June 19, 2013, at 11:29 PM, loofllams wrote:

    Tim, not everyone has the luxury of being in a place where 4G fiber optic internet is available. In rural america, where I and approx. 100 million other Americans live, there is dial up and if you're lucky, some type of DSL. My DSL gives me the astounding speeds of 1.7 MGB download and .7 upload and I live on the main road 2 miles from the county seat. The cable companies say it is too expensive to run cable out this far. Your investors can suck it up and do something for the rest of us at very little cost to them as long as your "rest of the world" includes a third of the U.S.A.

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