Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico

Vice resident brings message of hope to Kissimmee

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. They are sent high into the stratosphere, to the edge of space, where they float twice as high as airplanes, sailing with the wind currents in small groups.

Loon balloons work by "relaying communications between Alphabet's own ground stations connected to the surviving wireless networks, and users' handsets".

Alphabet Inc has just been given permission to float 30 balloons over U.S. territory Puerto Rico, providing them with much needed mobile reception and internet.

It could help provide the people of Puerto Rico with access to cellular service to connect with loved ones and access life-saving information.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled to regain communications services. It was only days after Hurricane Irma, another devastating hurricane, had hit the US. It last deployed the balloons to provide emergency phone service in Peru after a flood displaced thousands of people in March. Now around 10 percent of residents on the island have power.

In 2016, a test site was set up in Puerto Rico to launch what the project called "a handful of test balloons".

"Let's talk", said Gov. Ricardo Rossello in a Friday tweet.

As Puerto Rico and its people continue to reel from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, two of the world's biggest tech companies have outlined plans for bringing power back to the Caribbean island and USA territory.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, speaking to news media after a bipartisan Congressional visit to the island, said Brigadier General Jose Reyes, Assistant Adjutant General of the Puerto Rico National Guard, told Blumenthal that "there will be 17,000 military personnel", including 8,600 National Guard troops from 13 US states. In the meantime, Musk is sending some of his team, and training locals as fast as possible.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Gareth Southgate leads England through to 2018 World Cup
Oct 07, 2017 - 00:49
The defeat means Slovenia can not reach the World Cup, but they will have a major say in whether Scotland do. The 47-year-old said: "Tonight highlighted where we are".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Spain's king says Catalan leaders broke the laws of the state
Oct 07, 2017 - 00:49
The Catalan government said that around 2.26 million of the region's 5.34 million voters were able to cast their vote on Sunday. Catalonia's leaders appear intent on declaring independence from Spain in the coming days.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Lawsuit challenges Pa. congressional districts to be redrawn before 2018 Election
Oct 07, 2017 - 00:48
Tom Rentschler of Exeter Township in Berks County is one of the 18 plaintiffs representing the states congressional districts. The Pennsylvania lawsuit concerns congressional districts drawn up in 2011 by Republican leaders and signed by then-Gov.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Growing number of Tories back change of leadership, claims Shapps
Oct 07, 2017 - 00:46
She also apologized for the general election earlier this year, in which the Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority. He said he had previously informed No 10 that a growing number of Tory MPs were keen to have a leadership election.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top O'Neill agrees two-year contract extension with Ireland
Oct 07, 2017 - 00:45
Martin O'Neill has trimmed his Republic of Ireland squad ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier against Moldova in Dublin. Southgate is under pressure and we don't know what formation or system he wants to play.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tom Petty's Daughter Shares Personal Photos Of Her Late Dad
Oct 06, 2017 - 00:45
Losing Tom Petty now, during a year when the soul of the country seems wracked with uncertainty and turmoil, seems even crueler. From our opening act in the seventies to becoming a brilliant songwriter and performer I have loved his music.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pence says NASA will put people on the moon again
Oct 06, 2017 - 00:44
Mars or moon? Moon or Mars? But it could be some time before we know how the Trump administration plans to lead in space again. In recent years NASA has talked about sending humans to a space station near the Moon but not landing astronauts there.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Spain has accused Catalonia of using 'blackmail' in its bid for independence
Oct 06, 2017 - 00:43
Now residents are anxious that the escalating conflict between Spanish and Catalan authorities will split the town in two. The fear is now that Madrid will move to suspend Catalonia's autonomy and even send in the army to contain the situation.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Woman orders yoga mat, gets oxycodone instead
Oct 06, 2017 - 00:36
Brown speculated that the package may have been meant for delivery to the woman's former address at a condo which is now vacant. The post office knew she had moved and thought they would do her a favor by delivering it to her new address.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Walmart will test same-day delivery with purchase of Parcel
Oct 05, 2017 - 00:55
Jet has been testing same-day delivery in NY , and Parcel will become the (literal) vehicle for that service's expansion. Further innovations range from associate delivery to in-building and in-fridge delivery with Latch and August Home.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Russian accused of Bitcoin fraud appeals extradition
Oct 05, 2017 - 00:54
However, as reported by the New York Post , a three-judge panel ruled that the US request to extradite Vinnik should be granted. Russian Federation also demanded return of Vinnik, which was captured in a hotel near city of Thessaloniki, Greece.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 20-Week Abortion Ban Passes House, Faces Uphill Battle in Senate
Oct 05, 2017 - 00:53
The bill could have a tough time passing the Senate , however, where Republicans' margin as the majority is 52-48. The second-highest rate is less than half of that - 9.2 per every 100,000 women in the United Kingdom .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Google announces Home Mini and Home Max
Oct 05, 2017 - 00:52
Apparently, both smartphones are expected to come with eSIMs, which will let you change networks without changing SIM cards. The headphones will be tethered together by a wire but connect to your phone via Bluetooth and feature Assistant built in.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Country Festival May Not Have Been Las Vegas Gunman's Initial Target
Oct 05, 2017 - 00:52
An image from the video showing one of Stephen Paddock's weapons inside his hotel room. Warren is the public affairs officer for Fais Foley Warren, owner of The Ogden .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top BSF camp attack: Two JeM militants killed, four jawans injured
Oct 05, 2017 - 00:47
Heavily armed militants stormed an Indian Border Security Force (BSF) camp early Tuesday in disputed Jammu and Kashmir's capital. Following intelligence inputs, the force warned its soldiers to remain vigilant if on leave and off duty.