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Google to use balloons to provide hurricane-hit Puerto Rico cellular service

Alphabet will provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico through its Project Loon balloons. (Reuters)
WASHINGTON: The US Federal Communications Commission said late on Friday it had approved Alphabet’s application to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico through its Project Loon balloons.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled to regain communications services. The FCC said on Friday that 83 percent of cell sites remain out of service, while wireless communications company are deploying temporary sites.
Alphabet, which announced the test project in 2013 to use solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to provide Internet service in remote regions, said in an FCC filing it was working to “support licensed mobile carriers’ restoration of limited communications capability” in Puerto Rico.

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