ADSL or cable modems start to look pretty boring when you consider the other ways scientists are raising surfers' sights for high-speed broadband connections.
Capanina, a three-year European Union project, is aiming for the skies with projects involving balloons and blimps to provide large areas of Europe with faster broadband services than are currently possible with either cable or ADSL.
Using this kind of platform is not a new idea: UK company SkyLinc has offered its Libra (Low Cost Integrated Broadband Radio Access) system since May 2003.
This low altitude solution - a balloon flying at around 1.5km - can provide symmetrical broadband connections which allow users to download and upload at 2Mbps each way, and cover an area with a radius of 80km anywhere in the country.
The solar powered airships or balloons will cruise at an altitude of around 20km, according to Dr David Grace, of York University, Capanina's principal scientific officer.
SkyLinc is taking part in the project, using another prototype low altitude balloon to test the University's theoretical computer model.
The leaders of Capapina, however, are more interested in high-flyers, and the remaining two years of the project will concentrate on high altitude platforms.
Hovering in the stratosphere where winds are stable, the airships could provide coverage of around 60km radius each, picked up by tiny dishes placed on houses.
The vehicles will be able to stay afloat for months, possibly years, at a time, and land themselves for repairs.
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