Alphabet is adopting laser-beaming boxes in favor of Project Loon's balloons for its latest internet-delivery partnership in Andhra Pradesh, India. The state government is snapping up 2,000 of the hubs, which rely on Free Space Optical Communications… Engadget RSS Feed
Alphabet’s Project Loon has officially launched in Puerto Rico in an effort to bring basic internet connectivity to the island after its infrastructure was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. The project utilizes helium air balloons and was able to utilize working ground connections to relay internet service to more than 100,000 unconnected inhabitants.
Speaking to Engadget, the head of Project Loon Alastair Westgarth stated, “In times of crisis, being able to communicate with loved ones, emergency services, and critical information is key. 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.”
High Tech Solutions
This is the fastest that Project Loon has ever been launched. The balloons set off from Winnemucca, Nevada and the team used machine learning algorithms to fly them to Puerto Rican airspace. And, while the project was not able to provide connectivity to the entire island, it is still an improvement to the territory’s decimated infrastructure and isn’t an indicator of shortcomings in Project Loon’s capabilities.
Alphabet isn’t the only company that is looking to use their technologies to help rebuild Puerto Rico. AT&T is also helping to reinstate wireless service with its “Flying COW” (Cell on Wings) drones. The devices helped to deliver cell phone service, including LTE wireless, to up to 8,000 people in San Juan, the territory’s capital.
Elon Musk’s Tesla additionally sent hundreds of batteries, including Powerwalls and higher capacity Powerpacks, to help get power to where it was needed most, including a children’s hospital in the capital.
Musk also spoke with Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, about using the company’s technology to completely overhaul the island’s electricity grid, which was already crumbling long before Maria touched down. However, critics fear that such a move would be more disruptive to the Puerto Rican power sector, which is currently run by government-owned utilities.
Still, these high-tech solutions are helping to get Puerto Rico back up and running. It is now up to the people of Puerto Rico to decide what technologies will best benefit them throughout this rebuilding period and in the future.
Alphabet’s Project Loon has officially deployed its LTE balloons to Puerto Rico, the team announced this afternoon. In a blog penned by Project Loon head Alastair Westgarth, the company says it’s working with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Aviation Authority, FEMA, and other cellular spectrum and aviation authorities to bring connectivity to parts of the island still suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Loon’s official LTE partner for the initiative is AT&T, which is helping Loon use its fleet of stratospheric helium balloons to bring functions like text messaging and minor web browsing access to Puerto Rico residents who have LTE-equipped smartphones.
“We’ve never deployed Project Loon connectivity from…
Google parent company Alphabet on Friday said it is collaborating with AT&T, Apple and various government agencies to deliver limited wireless internet access to Puerto Rico via the company’s Project Loon balloons. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
About a month after Hurricane Maria's devastating landfall on Puerto Rico and a couple of weeks after the FCC gave clearance, Project Loon is bringing wireless internet to people on remote parts of the island. Part of (Google parent company) Alphabet… Engadget RSS Feed