Google balloons to help restore Puerto Rico's cell networks

Google to Provide Emergency Cell Service to Puerto Rico Via Balloons

Blumenthal did not specify when the rest of the military personnel would arrive, but Republican Senator Cory Gardner, speaking at the same news conference, said the plan to bring in more National Guard forces is "an assessment that has been made by the Department of Defense and.is now underway".

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.

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".

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. The idea is to help areas of the world that have little to no internet service ...

The FCC announced Saturday that it's approved an experimental license for Project Loon to operate in Puerto Rico.

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.

But there are limitations, she said Saturday. It also took the step of creating its Hurricane Recovery Task Force that will work on restoring services to the islands. But in that case, Google had already partnered with a telecom provider on the ground, which it depended on to beam the signal to the balloons, for disaster relief.

After setting up a network on the island of Vieques, off the main island of Puerto Rico, one team watched from a roof as local residents started getting text alerts from family members who had been trying to get in touch. It appears to be a flawless fit for helping Puerto Rico get back online.

"They noticed everyone in the plaza pulling their phones out", said CEO Vanu Bose.

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