Experimental License Allows Balloon-Based Emergency Cell Service in Puerto Rico
Monday, October 09, 2017 | Comments

The FCC granted an experimental license for Project Loon, led by Google's parent company Alphabet, to help provide emergency cellular service in Puerto Rico.

“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. It could help provide the people of Puerto Rico with access to cellular service to connect with loved ones and access life-saving information. I’m glad the FCC was able to grant this experimental license with dispatch, and I urge wireless carriers to cooperate with Project Loon to maximize this effort’s chances of success.”

Project Loon is a network of balloons that provides connectivity to users on the ground. Now that the experimental license has been approved, it will attempt to initiate service in Puerto Rico. Project Loon obtained consent agreements to use LMR radio spectrum in the 900 MHz band from existing carriers operating within Puerto Rico.

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On 10/12/17, Pat Gray said:
Google is a crafty company. By the time it takes to implement this airborne network, the terrestrial carriers may be operational and Google will still have its network in place.

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