Large Internet-Beaming Balloons Might Be Headed To Puerto Rico

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The island, home to almost 3.5 million people, remains crippled by the Category 4 storm that struck last month, which disabled more than 90 percent of Puerto Rico's cell towers and left its communications infrastructure in shambles.

The Carribean country Puerto Rico has been caught with a deadly hurricane named Maria last day, of 150 miles per hour.

The US Federal Communications Commission announced its decision on Friday evening, one of a number of ways in which tech companies are helping rebuild services.

The Project Loon team is planning to deploy several balloons beneath the sky for an emergency LTE service, which will be using Band 8 LTE.

The approval is part of the FCC's larger promise to form a hurricane recovery task force that's primarily focused on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

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Alphabet has confirmed it plans to use solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to support the restoration of "limited communications capability" in the United States unincorporated territory.

Separately, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said on Twitter that he had a "great initial conversation" with Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Inc. "Next steps soon to follow".

In late September, Tesla said it was sending hundreds of batteries that can store power generated by solar panels to Puerto Rico to provide emergency help in the wake of Hurricane Maria. It's unclear if Puerto Rico's stressed telecom companies even have the resources to partner with Google on this endeavor. Now around 10 percent of residents on the island have power.

In 2016, a test site was set up in Puerto Rico to launch what the project called "a handful of test balloons".

In a statement given to Engadget, a spokesperson for Alphabet's X lab said the team needs to work with a partner network of a local telecom, like Telefonica, to make it all work.

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