Project Loon balloons, from Google's Alphabet, to aid Puerto Rico

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RavenAeroStar

Loon balloons have already been successfully launched in Peru back in May, providing Internet connectivity in flood zones around Lima, Chimbote, and Piura.

The FCC has given Google permission to deploy its Project Loon balloons over Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is still reeling from the devastation from Hurricane Maria, which has left billions of dollars worth of damage in its wake, flooded the country and destroyed a lot of the buildings. "It is critical that we adopt a coordinated and comprehensive approach to support the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services".

Project Loon balloons, from Google's Alphabet, to aid Puerto Rico

In a report issued yesterday (PDF), the FCC said 83 percent of cell sites in Puerto Rico are still out of service, along with 57 percent in the US Virgin Islands and 100 percent in St. John.

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.

Eight-three percent of the island's cellular sites remain out of commission, making communication on and off the island hard, according to the agency.

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Just last week, the Loon team said it was looking into helping Puerto Rico, still devastated by Hurricane Maria, regain connectivity.

Mr Musk said he was diverting resources from a semi-truck project to fix Model 3 bottlenecks and "increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas".

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis testified in Congress on Tuesday that there are "over 10,000 troops" in Puerto Rico.

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When the balloons are floating in the air above the correct spot, ground stations send signals up to the balloon and the balloon sends signal down to the ground so people with a mobile phone can connect to the internet.

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