Roswell, New Mexico residents who are used to looking for strange objects in the sky may soon see a new visitor to their air space. State officials are currently in negotiations with Sceye (“Sky”) to investigate the feasibility of cell service delivery by blimp, reports East Oregonian.
Sparse internet options in largely rural New Mexico has the state searching for creative ways to deliver digital connectivity to its residents. The advantage of a “stratospheric platform,” as Sceye refers to them, would be a quick way of bringing a floating cell tower to regions where relying on ground-based delivery may not be practical. While plans are still up in the air, so to speak, the state’s Economic Development Department is ready to invest $3.2 million in the study.
With satellite options still a future project, blimp cell towers could provide an interim solution to New Mexico’s digital woes. Reports indicate that at least 20 percent of the state’s students lacked the home internet they needed to stay connected during the pandemic shutdown. Temporary hot spots have provided some relief but many residents are still beyond the reach of earthbound networks.
Economic Development Department spokesman Bruce Krasnow and Sceye founder Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen have said their plans include launching blimps from locations in both Roswell and Moriarty to reach New Mexico residents below.