Project Loon to Help Restore Communication in Puerto Rico

Cell service is out in 83 percent of Puerto Rico. Could these Google balloons fix it?

Cell service is out in 83 percent of Puerto Rico. Could these Google balloons fix it?

Alphabet, which announced its Project Loon in 2013 to use solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to provide internet service in remote regions, said in an FCC filing it was working to "support licensed mobile carriers' restoration of limited communications capability" in Puerto Rico. However, it's possible some would need a software update, which might have to be delivered over the air in Puerto Rico. The storm has subsided but the disaster remains, and cellular towers across the island are either down or severely damaged. I'm glad the FCC was able to grant this experimental license with dispatch and I urge wireless carriers to cooperate with Project Loon to maximize this effort's chances of success. "Project Loon is one such approach", Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. Pai said that this includes the "the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services".

Although the company has been given rapid approval by the FCC to begin operating, it still has hurdles to overcome. But the Internet has long ceased to be simply a luxury, even during times of crisis.

The Carribean country Puerto Rico has been caught with a deadly hurricane named Maria last day, of 150 mph. The helium balloons are expected to be deployed in the islands, whose internet service following Hurricanes Irma and Maria has been intermittent at best. It's an experimental license for the service, which is called Project Loon.

Soros meets with liberal donors to resist Trump: Soros organized a summit in Washington the week after the election to rally together key Democrats to formulate a plan of action to oppose the Trump administration.

The company had previously conducted connectivity tests in Australia, New Zealand and several South American countries. Tech companies are leading the charge so far when it comes to rolling out temporary services.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed to send a "connectivity team" t help restore Puerto Rico's communications.


Two weeks after the storm struck, killing 34 people, hospitals and hundreds of thousands of residents are still struggling without electricity and communications, relying on generators if they are lucky. For good measure, their report involved plenty of talk about the protests being designed to allow the rise of a "shadow government" planning a coup against President Trump.

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