Puerto Rico, Project Loon and Hope

Puerto Rico, Project Loon and Hope

Puerto Rico, Project Loon and Hope

In addition to the need for food and water in Puerto Rico, people need hope. There are still many challenges to facing the 3.5 million people on the island.  Hope and expressions of love can get folks through the worst times. Hope many times comes from family and friends, but in many areas it was impossible for people to get in touch with family and friends.

With only 25% of cell towers back online, and power only restored to 10% of the island, communication on and from the island has been sketchy. Imagine loosing everything, not having clean drinking water, and not being able to call friends and family in the States or around the world. Rough.

Well Google, and the FCC has come up with a solution to help fix this problem: Balloons.

No seriously. Balloons. It is called Project Loon. Google is going to provide helium balloons to provide LTE coverage. Project Loon works by relaying a signal beamed from a telecom partner on the ground through its network of balloons floating around 65,000 feet in the air, and then sending that signal down to people with cellphones. Previously in Peru, the project sent 160 GB of data over an area roughly the size of Sweden, which was “enough data to send and receive around 30 million WhatsApp messages, or 2 million emails.”

Google looks to provide even more help in Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately, there are a few unknowns.  For instance, a service provider has not been identified, and the start date has not been established. Still, cheers to the FCC and Google for working to provide those in Puerto Rico a service that will allow people to connect to family and friends. And most importantly, thanks for giving the opportunity to create much needed hope.

Sources: http://mashable.com/2017/10/06/puerto-rico-fcc-google-project-loon/?utm_cid=hp-h-20#_Ncp.kw7qEq3

 

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