Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico

Marie Harrington
October 8, 2017

Google's parent company is set to launch balloons into the Caribbean skies in an attempt to restore telephone networks in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

The project, which is run by research firm X, has provided back-up internet services after natural disasters before.

But many offers of help from big companies remain somewhat vague.

In case of yu just need to know, the Project Loon is a subsidiary project from Google's "X" t make the availability of internet in rural places and remote villages. But that doesn't mean it will able to get them in the air anytime soon.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced on Friday the creation of a Hurricane Recovery Task Force that would focus on rebuilding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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But there are limitations, she said Saturday.

As Harris spotted, earlier today the FCC granted a "Special Temporary Authorization" to "support licensed mobile carriers' restoration of limited communications capability in areas of Puerto Rico".

The helium balloons are expected to deliver emergency LTE cellular reception to allow residents and local governments to contact friends and family, coordinate relief and restoration efforts, and reestablish communication with the outside world.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, speaking to news media after a bipartisan Congressional visit to the island, said Brigadier General Jose Reyes, Assistant Adjutant General of the Puerto Rico National Guard, told Blumenthal that "there will be 17,000 military personnel", including 8,600 National Guard troops from 13 USA states. Aid workers are pairing Vanu's devices with other technology, such as inflatable satellite antennas. Even weeks later, only 10 percent of the island has power after thousands of phone towers were destroyed in the storm. "People know right away".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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