Alphabet’s Project Loon deploys LTE balloons in Puerto Rico
Alphabet’s Job Loon has officially deployed its LTE balloons to Puerto Rico, the team announced this afternoon. In a blog penned by Venture Loon head Alastair Westgarth, the company states it is dealing with the Federal Communications Fee, the Federal Aviation Authority, FEMA, along with other cellular spectrum and aviation authorities to deliver connectivity to pieces from the island nonetheless struggling during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Loon’s official LTE partner to the initiative is AT&T, which is helping Loon use its fleet of stratospheric helium balloons to deliver functions like text messaging and minor web browsing access to Puerto Rico residents who have LTE-equipped smartphones.
“We’ve never deployed Venture Loon connectivity from scratch at such a rapid pace, and we’re grateful to the support of AT&T and the many other partners and organizations that have made this possible,” Westgarth writes. “Thanks to the Pan-American and Puerto Rican governments’ aviation authorities and air traffic controllers, who enabled us to send small teams of balloons from our launch site in Nevada to Puerto Rico. Thanks also to SES Networks and Liberty Cablevision who helped quickly set up essential ground infrastructure so that the balloons could get internet connectivity.”