Google to Provide Emergency Cell Service to Puerto Rico Via Balloons

Senior Airmen Antonio Farias 433rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief fixes an exterior light on a C-5M Super Galaxy operated by Air Force Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 433rd Airlift Wing in Colorado Springs Colorado. Farias was part of an

It had partnered with a telecomm company and was testing balloons.

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.

"Let's talk", said Gov. Ricardo Rossello in a Friday tweet.

Mr 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".

Puerto Rico's infrastructure was demolished by Hurricane Maria.

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.

The FCC's daily status report also shows significant wireline, TV and radio outages remain in both USA territories. The idea is to help areas of the world that have little to no internet service ... "I'm glad the FCC was able to grant this experimental license with dispatch and I urge wireless carriers to cooperate with Project Loon to maximize this effort's chances of success".

Regulators have approved Google's application to provide emergency cell phone services to Puerto Rico using balloons in the wake of Hurriane Maria.

But there are limitations, she said Saturday. It's a different story for Puerto Rico.

The US Federal Communications Commission announced its decision on Friday evening, one of a number of ways in which tech companies are helping rebuild services.

Much of the ground work is being spearheaded by nonprofit organizations and small firms with expertise in rural or emergency communications. "The Hurricane Recovery Task Force will allow us to do just that". Now around 10 percent of residents on the island have power. "People know right away".

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