Under “Project Loon”, Alphabet-owned Google teamed up with AT&T and flew internet balloons to bring back basic communication in parts of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, reports said on Saturday. Also Read - Google, Facebook make vaccination mandatory for employees returning to officeAlso Read - Fake Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) Lite APK links going viral on the internet: How to spot them
“The search giant announced some balloons from its ‘Project Loon’ program had been deployed over Puerto Rico, in an effort to provide people with limited internet access”, CNET reported.
The balloons have been deployed to give users of LTE phones basic access to the internet and text messaging in parts of the island hit hardest by Hurricane Maria. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had earlier provided consent to Alphabet’s application, which included letters and emails from eight wireless carriers in Puerto Rico, for Project Loon to use their frequencies for disaster relief and to restore limited communications. ALSO READ: Google s Project Loon in peril as the company fails to secure key patent
Each “Loon” balloon can serve up to 5,000 square kms so the fleet is expected to provide service over all of Puerto Rico and potentially parts of the US Virgin Islands. ALSO READ: Google s Project Loon now uses machine learning for weather predictions
“‘Loon’ needs to be integrated with a telco partner’s network, the balloons cannot do it alone,” an Alphabet spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Alphabet has previously deployed “Loon” to provide emergency phone service in Peru following flooding there earlier this year.