Large Internet-Beaming Balloons Might Be Headed To Puerto Rico

Large Internet-Beaming Balloons Might Be Headed To Puerto Rico

Large Internet-Beaming Balloons Might Be Headed To Puerto Rico

Alphabet Inc., which controls Google, obtained authorization from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy the devices - developed from 2013 as part of a project known as "Loon". It's dedicated to repairing damage caused by the entire season's slew of storms, but will focus on fixing the communications networks on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the latter of which was so damaged that nearly 90 percent of its cell towers were downed by Hurricane Maria.

The FCC has approved an experimental license for Alphabet, Inc's Project Loon to attempt to restore wireless service to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico using its high-altitude balloons, according to FCC Chief of Staff Matthew Berry.

Alphabet has confirmed it plans to use solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to support the restoration of "limited communications capability" in the USA unincorporated territory. It also took the step of creating its Hurricane Recovery Task Force that will work on restoring services to the islands.

"More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, millions of Puerto Ricans are still without access to much-needed communications services", FCC chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.

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Mr Musk said he was diverting resources from a semi-truck project to fix Model 3 bottlenecks and "increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas".

But the Puerto Rico situation is different.

After setting up a network on the island of Vieques, off the main island of Puerto Rico, one team watched from a roof as local residents started getting text alerts from family members who had been trying to get in touch.

Project Loon sends balloons intro the stratosphere - twice as high as commercial airliners - where they are self-powered by solar panels. Google parent company Alphabet offered to send its Wi-Fi balloons.

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