Now this promises to be a world-changing development: Google plans to launch blimps and other “high-altitude platforms” above sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia to bring the internet wirelessly to a billion or more additional people, the Wall Street Journal reports.

With what will these people access the internet? Google is also working to make low-cost smartphones available in these markets.

Why would Google pursue these goals? Because of its huge business success and massive wealth creation, the company has the resources to pursue this magnificent project, and in the process to significantly improve life for many of the world’s poorest people. But the core motivation seems to be, appropriately, to turn a profit. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Connecting more people to the Web world-wide creates more potential users of its Web-search engine and other services such as YouTube and its Google Play media and app store. . . . More Internet users, in turn, would drive online advertising on many of Google's services. The company currently derives 87% of its annual $50 billion in revenue from selling online ads.

Godspeed to Google as it develops these new internet platforms and helps welcome hundreds of millions of people into the networks of global capitalism. And may Google ultimately profit enormously from this ambitious undertaking.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

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