Project Loon cleared to help restore wireless in Puerto Rico

Oct 08, 2017, 00:48
Project Loon cleared to help restore wireless in Puerto Rico

The balloons have been used previously in flood-stricken Peru to restore cell service, with fantastic results.

The Carribean country Puerto Rico has been caught with a deadly hurricane named Maria last day, of 150 miles per hour.

Project Loon sends balloons intro the stratosphere - twice as high as commercial airliners - where they are self-powered by solar panels.

Alphabet Inc has just been given permission to float 30 balloons over U.S. territory Puerto Rico, providing them with much needed mobile reception and internet.

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Eight-three percent of the island's cellular sites remain out of commission, making communication on and off the island hard, according to the agency. The reason for increased difficulty is that Loon was already in testing in Peru with a carrier and was ready to roll. She added that "we've been making solid progress" on that next step.

That's where Project Loon comes in.

"That's why we need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island", he added, urging wireless carriers to "cooperate with Project Loon to maximize this effort's chances of success".

Loon was developed at X, Alphabet's innovation lab. Alphabet also is the parent of search engine Google.

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Last week, the Project Loon team revealed that it was exploring the possibility of deploying balloons to provide "emergency connectivity" to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

AT&T has started using satellite links to carry millions of phone calls and text messages from clusters of temporary cellular radios to the mainland, a spokesman said. "The Hurricane Recovery Task Force will allow us to do just that".

The #ProjectLoon team at X is exploring if it's possible to bring emergency connectivity to Puerto Rico.

The US Federal Communications Commission announced its decision on Friday evening, one of a number of ways in which tech companies are helping rebuild services.

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