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Google to use balloons to provide Puerto Rico mobile phone service

08 October 2017

The FCC said yesterday that 83% of cell sites on the island are down, forcing carriers in the USA territory to employ backup methods in an effort to get their networks running. The Federal Communications Commission said Saturday that 82 percent of cell sites remain out in Puerto Rico; 58 percent are out of service in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

At the time, they noted that deploying to Puerto Rico would be harder than their previous emergency deployment to Peru as they did not have existing infrastructure in place. They were among several tech companies proposing disaster response ideas, most aimed at getting phone and internet service up and running.

"We need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island", FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.

When it comes to power, Tesla boss Elon Musk wants to get the lights back on in Puerto Rico using a solar power grid designed by his company - the entrepreneur said on Twitter that projects completed on smaller islands could be scaled up. The X innovations team that runs Project Loon, which was spun out of Google, now needs to finalize a telecomms firm to partner with.

GST Council relief to exporters, small businesses
He also said GST rates on some products would be cut and the threshold for lower tax would be raised. The meeting is third since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in July this year.

U.S. authorities have approved Alphabet Inc's application to use its experimental Project Loon balloons to provide emergency mobile phone service to disaster-stricken Puerto Rico, as Tesla said it would send more battery supplies.

Alphabet Inc has just been given permission to float 30 balloons over USA territory Puerto Rico, providing them with much needed mobile reception and internet. "The Hurricane Recovery Task Force will allow us to do just that".

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.

Google to use balloons to provide Puerto Rico mobile phone service