Project Loon to provide emergency LTE Network in Puerto Rico

It was the strongest hurricane to hit the USA in over a century and the 155mph winds left Puerto Rico entirely without power.

In the case of Puerto Rico, AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile handsets should be able to operate on the frequencies covered by the experimental license, according to people familiar with the matter.

Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc, started Project Loon, which was created to give internet connectivity to people in rural places and is now being used for disaster relief. As most of the smartphones are not capable of transcoding Band 8 LTE signals, the OEMs are necessarily required to push an OTA update for every smartphone in Puerto Rico.

On Friday, 83 percent of the island's cell sites were out of service, according to the FCC - down only slightly from 84.6 percent the day before.

Loon, part of a series of futuristic projects out of Alphabet's "X" laboratory, was originally created to provide internet coverage in under-developed rural areas.

Earlier this year, Project Loon was deployed to Peru after a series of devastating floods. She added that "we've been making solid progress" on that next step.

To help communications the FCC as authorized the use of Project Loon over the territory. In the latter country, Project Loon was already testing with a local carrier before the nation encountered heavy flooding.

The US Federal Communications Commission announced its decision on Friday evening, one of a number of ways in which tech companies are helping rebuild services.

"That's why we need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island", he added, urging wireless carriers to "cooperate with Project Loon to maximize this effort's chances of success". "The Hurricane Recovery Task Force will allow us to do just that", Paid said.

-Jack Nicas contributed to this article.

  • Rosalie Stanley