The LiftPort Group is conducting a two-month test to find out if a balloon-based platform can act as a reliable relay of Internet signals in remote regions. The company’s president, Michael Laine, said the Federal Aviation Administration issued a waiver for the trial, which began last week in a rural area near Poulsbo on western Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula. According to Laine, wireless Internet access provider Lightspeed Broadband already expressed interest in the technology. Lightspeed currently has less than 200 subscribers in western Washington and hopes the technology will boost the company’s expansion plans. It intends to offer broadband service for $20 a month should the test becomes a success and the technology is approved by the FAA.