When it’s possible, the simple solution is the best. In some case there is no solutions without reprehensible damage, but we sometimes forget that there is something simple. Puerto Rico, which was knocked sideways in so many aspects of its infrastructure also had a massive communications problem with over 80% of the phones losing service. This is of course due to the destruction of cell towers by the hurricane. So meteorological balloons were launched with communications servers on them and voila, the cell phones were back at work.
There’s a rumor going around that the military came up with the solution because the Donald, on his visit to the island couldn’t Twitter. (Just kidding) Or am I?
The US Federal Communications Commission has approved Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc’s application to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico through balloons.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled to regain communications services. The FCC said on Friday that 83% of cell sites remain out of service, while wireless communications company are deploying temporary sites.
Alphabet, which announced its Project Loon in 2013 to use solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to provide internet service in remote regions, said in an FCC filing it was working to “support licensed mobile carriers’ restoration of limited communications capability” in Puerto Rico.
Earlier on Friday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced he was forming a Hurricane Recovery Task Force with an emphasis 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,” Pai said in statement. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/07/puerto-rico-cell-phone-service-to-be-restored-by-google-balloons