To deliver signal to people's devices, Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner's network - the balloons can't do it alone. X division has noted that deploying Project loon over Puerto Rico would definitely be harder than deploying over Peru, which was done back in May after massive flooding caused disruption in internet and communications around that country.
The United States plans to have 17,000 military personnel in Puerto Rico to aid disaster recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria, a Democratic senator briefed on the plan told reporters on Saturday.
Iris Irizarry (l.) and Evelyn Andujar (r.) try to get cell phone reception in the wake of Maria on October 4, 2017, in Utuado, Puerto Rico. In a filing with the FCC, Google wrote that it wanted approval to use the balloons to "support licensed mobile carriers' restoration of limited communications capability" in Puerto Rico. It was only days after Hurricane Irma, another devastating hurricane, had hit the US. Even weeks later, only 10 percent of the island has power after thousands of phone towers were destroyed in the storm.
In Puerto Rico, however, X is essentially had to start at square one. However its population is only around 70,000 people, whereas Puerto Rico's is 3.4 million.
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"Let's talk", said Gov. Ricardo Rossello in a Friday tweet.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai said, "It is critical that we adopt a coordinated and comprehensive approach to support the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services". In the meantime, Musk is sending some of his team, and training locals as fast as possible.