Google to use Project Loon balloons to restore some cell service to Puerto Rico

Thanks to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico's cellular infrastructure has been badly damaged. The FCC said yesterday that 83% of cell sites on the island are down, forcing carriers in the U.S. territory to employ backup methods in an effort to get their networks running. Late yesterday, Google parent Alphabet received permission from the FCC to use balloons to provide Puerto Rico with emergency cellular coverage.

How Project Loon works

How Project Loon works

Back in June 2013, Google launched Project Loon by sending balloons into the skies above New Zealand. The balloons were equipped with technology that would allow them to provide cellular service to remote areas where such service doesn't exist. In a filing with the FCC, Google wrote that it wanted approval to use the balloons to "support licensed mobile carriers’ restoration of limited communications capability" in Puerto Rico.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced on Friday the creation of a Hurricane Recovery Task Force that would focus on rebuilding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Pai said that this includes the "the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services."

source: Reuters

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7 Comments

1. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

well it sucks thats happening over there but whats more shocking is US carriers like At&t, tmobile and sprint are still down from what my aunt tells me. Claro which i think its originally from Mexico is the one thats working better than the others. who would have thought .. Another carrier thats not originally from the US is working better than the others.

2. Joosty

Posts: 462; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

Awesome.

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 30777; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Right on Google.

4. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Wat to lead the way Google, also, Elon Musk has offered to rebuild their electrical infrastructure.

5. worldpeace

Posts: 3091; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

And where is sprint's drone? :v

6. DavMor0069

Posts: 266; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

Google is doing more than what the president did.

7. deewinc

Posts: 454; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

One other balloons fell from the sky in Kenya. Lucky, the balloon was hovering over in remote area so n casualties or damage to people's property was reported.

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