Last month, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane and caused significant damage to the island’s connectivity infrastructure. In the weeks following this disaster, the Project Loon team has been working with the Government of Puerto Rico, the FCC, the FAA, FEMA, spectrum partners and international aviation authorities to bring balloon powered internet to the island to help. Thanks to their support, we are now collaborating with AT&T to deliver emergency internet service to the hardest hit parts of the island.
Working with AT&T, Project Loon is now supporting basic communication and internet activities like sending text messages and accessing information online for some people with LTE enabled phones. This is the first time we have used our new machine learning powered algorithms to keep balloons clustered over Puerto Rico, so we’re still learning how best to do this. As we get more familiar with the constantly shifting winds in this region, we hope to keep the balloons over areas where connectivity is needed for as long as possible.
We’ve never deployed Project Loon connectivity from scratch at such a rapid pace, and we’re grateful for the support of AT&T and the many other partners and organizations that have made this possible. 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.
We plan to continue to offer emergency internet connectivity in areas where it’s needed for as long as it is useful and we’re able to do so. Project Loon is still an experimental technology and we’re not quite sure how well it will work, but we hope it helps get people the information and communication they need to get through this unimaginably difficult time.
About Project Loon
Project Loon is a network of stratospheric balloons designed to deliver internet connectivity to rural and remote areas worldwide. Loon balloons sail on winds in the stratosphere, extending the reach of our telecommunication partner’s networks into areas that are currently unconnected.
Since our first sizable tests in New Zealand in 2013, Loon balloons have flown more than 26 million kms around the world. Thanks to improvements in balloon design and durability, many balloons stay airborne for more than 100 days, with our record breaking balloon staying aloft for 190 days. This is the second time that Project Loon has been used to connect people after a disaster. In early 2017, Project Loon delivered basic internet connectivity to tens of thousands of people in flood-affected zones in Peru in partnership with the Peruvian government and Telefonica.
Learn more: Turning on Project Loon in Puerto Rico
The Latest on: Project Loon
- Alphabet’s Internet Loon Balloons Reach New Heights on September 18, 2018 at 5:58 am
back in 2014 when the project still came under the mantle of being a Google Project, a single Loon balloon was only capable of beaming the internet to an area 40 kilometers in diameter. […]
- Google’s Loon Balloons Just Beamed Data Over 1000 Kilometers on September 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm
Google launched Project Loon five years ago in its quest to deliver Internet access to underserved areas of the globe. Now a standalone subsidiary of Alphabet, Loon announced a major breakthrough ... […]
- Larry Page once led a Google project that would shoot bicyclists 35 miles down a glass tube, from its headquarters to San Francisco (GOOG, GOOGL) on September 14, 2018 at 10:33 am
At Alphabet, Page has been involved with Google X, a secretive research lab where ideas like Google Glass and Project Loon came to life, as well as Sidewalk Labs, an urban infrastructure project. […]
- Larry Page once led a Google project that would shoot bicyclists 35 miles down a glass tube, from its headquarters to San Francisco on September 13, 2018 at 8:08 pm
At Alphabet, Page has been involved with Google X, a secretive research lab where ideas like Google Glass and Project Loon came to life, as well as Sidewalk Labs, an urban infrastructure project. Outs... […]
- Alphabet hits new Loon milestone on September 12, 2018 at 4:25 am
Alphabet announced it successfully sent data over 600km between two balloons, its longest point-to-point link to date, as part of a project to provide internet connectivity to rural areas. Salvatore C... […]
- Google Spin-Off “Project Loon” in Fresh Breakthrough on September 12, 2018 at 3:15 am
Google spin-off Project Loon has passed a major milestone in its plan to beam the internet to remote locations from giant balloons. In a significant step forwards for the company, it successfully ping... […]
- Alphabet's plan to beam internet to Earth from balloons just passed a big milestone on September 11, 2018 at 1:12 pm
Project Loon makes internet-delivery balloons to provide access in remote locations. The balloons rally a single connection from a ground-level link from one balloon to the next, while moving and dive... […]
- Alphabet’s Loon internet balloons can now fly 600 kilometers apart on September 11, 2018 at 11:37 am
Project Loon was introduced in June 2013, when the idea was to use high-altitude balloons riding wind currents to beam internet to people in parts of the world that lack connectivity. In July ... […]
- Alphabet's Loon Just Beamed the Internet Over 621 Miles on September 11, 2018 at 9:38 am
Alphabet’s Loon aims at bringing internet access to different areas around the world. And it just reached a major milestone. On Tuesday, Loon was able to beam an internet signal 1,000 kilometers ... […]
- Alphabet's Loon internet balloons broadcast their strongest signal yet on September 11, 2018 at 8:25 am
Last month Loon pushed data almost 1,000 kilometers across seven balloons. Mere months after shedding its "project" moniker, Google's internet-by-balloon moonshot, Loon has hit another milestone. Last ... […]
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