Science

Google's Project Loon delivers internet to 100000 in Puerto Rico

Google's Project Loon delivers internet to 100000 in Puerto Rico”

Last month the company revealed it was teaming with AT&T and T-Mobile to bring LTE coverage to the hardest hit parts of the island and the plan has proved successful.

Still, a lot of the US territory's 3.5 million people are without internet and cell services after Hurricane Maria knocked out much of Puerto Rico's infrastructure.

In late October, Project Loon began transmitting internet to Puerto Rico by way of giant balloons.

"In times of crisis, being able to communicate with loved ones, emergency services and critical information is key", Westgarth said in a statement provided to Engadget.

Project Loon also released a video of Pedro Emmanuelli, a "launch specialist" from Puerto Rico, explaining how the operation releases balloons from a launch site in Winnemucca, Nevada, that end up hovering above Puerto Rico.

Project Loon beams the Internet from balloons circling the earth at altitudes twice as high as commercial aircraft, helping mobile operators extend wireless networks into more sparsely populated or remote terrains without running fiber optic cable or building cell towers.

In the post, Westgarth noted that Project Loon has never fired up internet from scratch this rapidly, and will improve their ability to keep balloons in place (and deliver sustained connectivity) as they become familiar with the air currents.

The rapid deployment was possible thanks to an experimental license provided by the Federal Communications Commission in the US. Now, the company behind the initiative says it's provided 100,000 people on the island with service.



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