Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Google balloons to help restore Puerto Rico's cell networks

Note to Trump: Think Before You Speak The Trump Spiral
Angelica Greene | 08 October, 2017, 00:49

Before it can initiate service, though, Loon has to clear a few more hurdles, officials said - notably, finding a wireless carrier to serve as its partner. With thousands of cell towers decimated by Hurricane Maria, the balloons would provide needed communications for both affected residents and relief efforts.

The Project Loon team is planning to deploy several balloons beneath the sky for an emergency LTE service, which will be using Band 8 LTE.

Thanks to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico's cellular infrastructure has been badly damaged.

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.

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Loon is one of Google's original "moonshot efforts created to bring connectivity to remote areas of the world and locales struggling in the aftermath of natural disaster".

More than 80% of Puerto Rico's cellular towers are still out of service more than two weeks after the arrival there of Hurricane Maria, and almost one-third of the island's counties have no service, according to the FCC. But if it can get off the ground, Project Loon could be a lifesaver by helping Puerto Rican citizens, officials and rescue workers better communicate. The team claims that more than 160 GB of data was "sent to people over a combined area of 40,000 km". The organization has already issues an experimental license for Loon balloons to launch over the devastated islands, but the company says that it may take some time. It appears to be a ideal fit for helping Puerto Rico get back online.

Loon's networks of balloons appeared to work well earlier this year when parts of Peru suffered severe flooding. It's a different story for Puerto Rico.

The US Federal Communications Commission said late on Friday it had approved Alphabet Inc's application to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico through balloons.

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