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Google Brings Cellular Service to Puerto Rico Using Balloons - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it had granted Alphabet Inc. the green light to use solar power balloons to bring cellular service to Puerto Rico, which has struggled to regain communications services since Hurricane Maria hit last month.

The FCC said on Friday that 83 percent of cell sites remain out of service, while wireless communications company are deploying temporary sites.

“FCC issues experimental license to Google to provide emergency cellular service in Puerto Rico through Project Loon balloons,” Matthew Berry, chief of staff to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, stated on Twitter.

Pai said on Friday he was was forming a Hurricane Recovery Task Force focused on addressing challenges facing Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

“It is critical that we adopt a coordinated and comprehensive approach to support the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services. The Hurricane Recovery Task Force will allow us to do just that,” Pai also said.

Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Inc, said on Friday the company would send more battery installers to Puerto Rico to help restore power after Hurricane Maria knocked out all power on the island over two weeks ago, Reuters reported.

Tesla had previously said, in late September, that it was sending to Puerto Rico hundreds of batteries that can rely on solar panels to store power which provides emergency aid in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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