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Google to Provide Emergency Cell Service to Puerto Rico Via Balloons

08 October, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Trump is right on eliminating Puerto Rico's debt

Google's parent firm Alphabet on Friday received a permit from the US Federal Communications Commission to use balloons to provide hurricane-hit Puerto Rico with emergency cell service.

"We need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island", FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.

Puerto Rico is still reeling from the devastation from Hurricane Maria, which has left billions of dollars worth of damage in its wake, flooded the country and destroyed a lot of the buildings.

United States authorities have approved Alphabet Inc's application to use its experimental Project Loon balloons to provide emergency mobile phone service to disaster-stricken Puerto Rico, as Tesla said it would send more battery supplies.

According to Wired, Project Loon-which is described as "a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, created to extend Internet connectivity to people in rural and remote areas worldwide"-would allow Puerto Rico residents to get voice and data service".

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Kelly had been complaining that the phone hadn't been working correctly for months, according to the report. A White House spokesman said Kelly hadn't used the personal phone often since joining the administration.

Though the Loon technology is not entirely proven, it could help speed the restoration of vital communications as the US territory works to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Musk agreed. Hours later, he announced he was delaying the unveiling of Tesla's new semi-truck and diverting resources, in part to "increase battery production for Puerto Rico and other affected areas".

At the time, they noted that deploying to Puerto Rico would be harder than their previous emergency deployment to Peru as they did not have existing infrastructure in place.

But the Puerto Rico situation is different.

When the balloons are floating in the air above the correct spot, ground stations send signals up to the balloon and the balloon sends signal down to the ground so people with a mobile phone can connect to the internet.

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