Google has said that it has made a breakthrough with its balloon-based internet connectivity development, Project Loon. The plan is for the company to provide internet access to the world’s most rural and unconnected areas. Researchers working with the team have now said that the network’s launch has been brought “years closer”. Project leader, Astro Teller, told the press that instead of each balloon focusing on a specific region, they would move around the earth as a network, using weather prediction systems to avoid storms. He said that “real” people would be able to use the system relatively soon, after experiments had taken place to give service to a location using “ten, twenty or thirty balloons”, as opposed to the hundreds previously used in tests. This comes some months after Facebook drastically slowed development on its own internet supply idea which involved circling drones above rural areas.