Project Loon to provide emergency LTE Network in Puerto Rico

Randolph Lopez
October 8, 2017

According to the FCC, 83 percent of cell sites remain out of service.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it had granted Alphabet Inc. the green light to use solar power balloons to bring cellular service to Puerto Rico, which has struggled to regain communications services since Hurricane Maria hit last month.

The United States plans to have 17,000 military personnel in Puerto Rico to aid disaster recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria, a Democratic senator briefed on the plan told reporters on Saturday.

"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.

It's unclear if X has found a telecomm company to partner with in the USA territory.

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In case of yu just need to know, the Project Loon is a subsidiary project from Google's "X" t make the availability of internet in rural places and remote villages.

Tesla is also dedicating its services to hurricane relief efforts: yesterday, Elon Musk said that he could rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid in the long-term using solar energy.

As Harris spotted, earlier today the FCC granted a "Special Temporary Authorization" to "support licensed mobile carriers' restoration of limited communications capability in areas of Puerto Rico". Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner's network-the balloons can't do it alone.

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. As most of the smartphones are not capable of transcoding Band 8 LTE signals, the OEMs are necessarily required to push an OTA update for every smartphone in Puerto Rico.

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