Sign up USA
Proactive Investors - Run By Investors For Investors

Google's Alphabet to use balloons to restore cell service in Puerto Rico after hurricane

Alphabet is searching for a wireless carrier to serve as its partner in Project Loon, which aims provide emergency cell services to Puerto Rico
Alphabet plans to launch high-altitude balloons that will revive cellar connectivity in Puerto Rico

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), the parent company of Google, has been granted an experimental licence to deploy a network of giant balloons to restore cellular connectivity in hurricane-battered Puerto Rico.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave Alphabet's Moonshot Factory approval to kick-start so-called Project Loon, which will aim to provide emergency cell services in the US territory.

“More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, millions of Puerto Ricans are still without access to much-needed communications services,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai.

“That’s why we need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island. Project Loon is one such approach."

Libby Leahy, a spokesperson for Google X  - the laboratory that oversees Project Loon – said the next step will be to find a wireless carrier to serve as its partner. Leahy said the company has been making “solid progress” on its search for a telecom partner to supply the cellular network needed for its balloons.

“To deliver signal to people’s devices, Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner’s network — the balloons can’t do it alone,” Leahy said.

The plan is to launch high-altitude balloons that will beam signals down from more than 12 miles above the earth as a way of connecting residents.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico on 20 September with winds of 150 miles per hour and massive flooding, causing about 34 deaths.

Facebook has also sought to aid Puerto Rico by sending a connectivity team to the Caribbean island under an initiative announced by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on 27 September.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk held talks with Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló on Friday about helping to repair the area’s power grid with solar-powered batteries. 

View full GOOG profile View Profile

Alphabet Timeline

No investment advice

The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable or advisable for any specific person. You understand that the Company receives either monetary or securities compensation for our services. We stand to benefit from any volume this write-up may generate.

You further understand that none of the information providers or their affiliates will advise you personally concerning the nature, potential, advisability, value or suitability of any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, investment strategy, or other matter.

You understand that the Site may contain opinions from time to time with regard to securities mentioned in other products, including company related products, and that those opinions may be different from those obtained by using another product related to the Company. You understand and agree that contributors may write about securities in which they or their firms have a position, and that they may trade such securities for their own account. In cases where the position is held at the time of publication and such position is known to the Company, appropriate disclosure is made. However, you understand and agree that at the time of any transaction that you make, one or more contributors may have a position in the securities written about. You understand that price and other data is supplied by sources believed to be reliable, that the calculations herein are made using such data, and that neither such data nor such calculations are guaranteed by these sources, the Company, the information providers or any other person or entity, and may not be complete or accurate.

From time to time, reference may be made in our marketing materials to prior articles and opinions we have published. These references may be selective, may reference only a portion of an article or recommendation, and are likely not to be current. As markets change continuously, previously published information and data may not be current and should not be relied upon.

Copyright ©, 2018. All Rights Reserved - Proactive Investors North America Inc., Proactive Investors LLC

Market Indices, Commodities and Regulatory News Headlines copyright © Morningstar. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of use