Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Google to use balloons to give Puerto Rico cell service

Alphabet said it was working to “support licensed mobile carriers’ restoration of limited communications capability” in Puerto Rico. Mike Blake  Reuters Protecting Health in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters
Frank Williams | 08 October, 2017, 01:54

Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc, started Project Loon, which was created to give internet connectivity to people in rural places and is now being used for disaster relief.

According to the FCC, 83 percent of cell sites in Puerto Rico are out of service, 57 percent for the US Virgin Islands, and 100 percent for St. John. Musk is in talks with Ricadro Rossello, the island's governor, about what could be done.

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".

As of Saturday, only 422 of 2,671 cell phone antennas are operational in the US territory, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Google parent company Alphabet has proposed launching balloons over the island to bring Wi-Fi service to hard-to-reach places, as it has in other parts of the world.

Ghana's World Cup hopes all but over after draw in Uganda
Witnessing an incident? Want to tell about a local problem? Send us a message via YEN's official Facebook page. Uganda also had themselves to blame after missing over four clear chances that would have given them a goal.

The Carribean country Puerto Rico has been caught with a deadly hurricane named Maria last day, of 150 miles per hour. The license extends from October 6th until April 4th, 2018, and it was granted to Ben Wojtowicz, a software engineer and member of Alphabet's X lab who works on Project Loon.

It was the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in over a century and the 155mph winds left Puerto Rico entirely without power.

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. Harris notes in a series of tweets that over the past week, the Loon team secured "spectrum rights from wireless networks in PR and US Virgin Islands".

Almost 95% of the island's residents are still living in the dark after Maria wiped out the island's power network. In Puerto Rico, things are still in the planning stages.

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