That is not a balloon. It is a cell tower.


It seems like Undertaking Loon will probably be sending balloons to Puerto Rico to assist the hurricane-ravaged island re-establish cellphone service.

In two tweets Friday, Matthew Berry, chief of workers of the US Federal Communications Fee, stated the FCC had authorized the Loon software to supply emergency mobile service to the island.

Undertaking Loon, from Google dad or mum firm Alphabet, makes use of high-altitude solar-powered balloons to supply telephones with a wi-fi community connection. Consider the balloons as floating cell towers. Alphabet expects to ultimately commercialize the enterprise. Earlier this yr, the Loon staff partnered with cell service Telefonica to assist enhance web entry in Peru after flooding in that nation.

As of Thursday, 84.6 % of cell websites on Puerto Rico have been nonetheless not functioning, in accordance with the FCC.

“Greater than two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, tens of millions of Puerto Ricans are nonetheless with out entry to much-needed communications providers,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated in an announcement Saturday (PDF). “That is why we have to take revolutionary approaches to assist restore connectivity on the island. Undertaking Loon is one such method. It might assist present the folks of Puerto Rico with entry to mobile service to attach with family members and entry life-saving data.”

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