Google to Provide Cellphone Service to Storm-Ravaged Puerto Rico Using Balloons

By Anna Breuer on 7 October 2017
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IMG_3681Google’s parent company received permission on Friday to provide emergency mobile phone service to Puerto Rico using solar-powered balloons.

The Federal Communications Commission said it gave Alphabet the green light to bring phone and data service to the hurricane-ravaged island using solar-powered balloons. Puerto Rico has been largely without power and mobile phone service since Hurricane Maria struck last month. Over 80% of cell sites remain down due to storm damage, a lack of power or both.

“FCC issues experimental license to Google to provide emergency cellular service in Puerto Rico through Project Loon balloons,” wrote Matthew Berry, chief of staff to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, on Twitter.

In addition to the interim Google plan, Pai announced on Friday that he was launching a Hurricane Recovery Task Force to advance the restoration of voice and data services.

“It is critical that we adopt a coordinated and comprehensive approach to support the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services. The Hurricane Recovery Task Force will allow us to do just that,” Paid said in a statement.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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