Google's balloons to provide Puerto Rico cell service2017-10-09 13:06 by Daniela
The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted an experimental licence to Google's Project Loon to deploy a network of giant balloons to restore cellular connectivity in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico.
The balloons need to work with a local telecom partner like Telefonica, which Loon has worked with previously in Peru, to deliver the signal.
"More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, millions of Puerto Ricans are still without access to much-needed communications services," said FCC chairman Ajit Pai. "That's why we need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island. Project Loon is one such approach."
The special temporary licence is "needed to support licensed mobile carriers' restoration of limited communications capability in areas of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (MTA025) affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria", the licence says, and is eligible between October 6, 2017 and April 4, 2018.
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