Alphabet Gets Approval for Giant Balloons to Restore Puerto Rico's Wireless Service

Alphabet Gets Approval for Giant Balloons to Restore Puerto Rico's Wireless Service”

"The purpose of the [Special Temporary Authority] is to support licensed mobile carriers' restoration of limited communications capability in areas of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria", the license reads.

"22 (same as yesterday ) out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico have 100 percent of their cell sites out of service".

"The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too", Musk said. Each balloon can talk to any other balloon, and users on the ground are free to connect to the nearest balloon offering the strongest signal.

"It is critical that we adopt a coordinated and comprehensive approach to support the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services", said Pai in a statement. "Project Loon is one such approach".

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled to regain communications services.

Project Loon has emphasized the fact that it needs to work together with a wireless provider if it aims at restoring the cellular service in the country.

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted an experimental licence to Google's Project Loon to provide an emergency cellular service throughout hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico.

Vice President Mike Pence visited the island on Friday in a bid to reassure those on the island that it will receive federal assistance.

The project was initially announced in 2013, intending to use balloons at high altitudes - and powered by the sun - to get cell service and internet capabilities into remote areas.

Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, said on Friday the company would send more battery installers to Puerto Rico to help restore power after Hurricane Maria knocked out all power on the island over two weeks ago.

In 2016, a test site was set up in Puerto Rico to launch what the project called "a handful of test balloons". This means that in order to provide connectivity, X must work with a telecommunications company.

Google said its wind-predicting algorithms helped to help keep its balloons aloft in Peru's airspace for 98 days during a test last year, ensuring they were not carried away by air currents. Traffic is then routed from balloon to balloon before reaching the nearest balloon with an uplink to a wider network. X was already in Peru when the flooding began. Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your # TeslaTechnologies?

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