Alphabet's Project Loon delivers internet service to 100000 people in Puerto Rico

Three weeks later over 100000 people in Puerto Rico have connected to Project Loon

Project Loon has provided mobile data to more than 100,000 people in Puerto Rico, according to Google parent company Alphabet, which operates the enterprise.

In this deployment, Loon is only providing "basic internet communication" like SMS, text, email, and other basic web access, but no voice service. A significant portion of Puerto Rico, still struggling to recover from the effects of Hurricane Maria, is still without cell tower reception, with the Federal Communications Commission reporting earlier today that almost 44 percent of Puerto Rico cell sites are still out of service.

Less than two weeks later, Alphabet deployed the high-tech balloons of Project Loon to provide the residents of Puerto Rico who own an LTE smartphone with internet access and cellular connectivity.

Following the Category 4 hurricane in September, Alphabet's X team looked into whether Project Loon could be used to provide service as it previously did in a flood-stricken Peru.

The goal of the deployment of Project Loon, which has targeted the hardest-hit areas of Puerto Rico, was to improve the coordination of restoration and relief efforts among the local governments and citizens of the island.

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The balloons were launched from Alpahbet's launch site in Nevada to Puerto Rico.

This is a new venture for the Project Loon team, since this is the first time they have utilized machine learning powered algorithms to keep the balloons clustered over Puerto Rico. Facebook, Tesla, and Cisco had promised to support the people during the disaster.

The balloons are designed to hover 11 miles above the Earth to create an aerial wireless network.

The inflatable part of the balloon is called a balloon envelope made from sheets of polyethylene plastic that are 49ft (15 metres) wide and 40ft (12 metres) tall when inflated. People on the ground can then access the internet using LTE-connected devices.


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