Alphabet says it has delivered internet service to 100,000 people on the island. Alphabet’s X, partnered with AT&T and T-Mobile to deliver internet to residents in need on the island.
The service is a part of Alphabet’s X balloon-powered internet program called Project Loon, where it is transmitting internet services with the help of helium air balloons at disaster-stricken locations.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a significant portion of Puerto Rico is still struggling to return to the normal state. More than forty percent of the locations in hit Puerto Rico are still without cell tower reception and out of service communications.
Project Loon works for rural and remote locations where it provides services, especially where there is no internet connectivity. The research and development project uses high altitude balloons which have solar-powered electronic devices. The balloons sail for around 20kilometers.
The island is still facing major power related issues. It is suffering from power shortage making the question of internet connectivity in many places.
A project lead on Loon, Alastair Westgarth said, “We hope that the connectivity Project Loon has provided over the last few weeks has been helpful, and would like to thank AT&T, T-Mobile, and our government partners who made these efforts possible.”
Several companies including Sprint are setting temporary cell sites in the disaster-hit locations. So people will be able to communicate with their family and friends. Facebook, Tesla, and Cisco had promised to support the people during the disaster.