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
Uttarakhand uses hot-air balloons to bring Wi-Fi internet to remote villages
on June 10, 2018 at 11:22 pm
The hot-air balloon method of delivering Wi-Fi was first implemented by Google as Project Loon to bring internet connectivity to remote areas. While various states in India are increasingly developing Wi-Fi connectivity at railway stations across the ... […]
Support builds for proposed National Loon Center in Minnesota
on June 9, 2018 at 2:08 am
spend some money and go to the loon center?" Gartner said. He said the area draws enough visitors to make the center self-sustaining and also likely would draw people from other parts of the state. The total cost of the project, including shoreline ... […]
Tanukichan’s noisy-pop is the “Perfect” way to start your summer
on June 8, 2018 at 10:42 am
Tanukichan, the project of Oakland-based musician Hannah Van Loon (formerly of Trails and Ways), recently released a single from her upcoming debut album Sundays. The song is called “Perfect,” and was produced by Chaz Bear (aka Chaz Bundick ... […]
National Loon Center program Saturday
on June 8, 2018 at 2:38 am
A free hot dog and lemonade social will be at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground lakeside pavilion. For more information on these events or the National Loon Center project, visit www.nationallooncenter.org or email [email protected] […]
Google and Netflix Buying up Massive Quantities of Helium
on May 31, 2018 at 5:51 am
Under its Project Loon initiative, a network of helium-filled balloons will float high into the stratosphere to offer Internet connections to the world's rural populations. This will also provide cellular reception to governments and residents in the wake ... […]
Largest grants flagged by AG benefited Liberal-held ridings the most
on May 31, 2018 at 3:04 am
MacLeod said the Eskasoni rink project needed to be supported so the community would have access to its rink, while the Lake Loon-Cherry Brook Community centre got money because there were "remaining funds to invest." Ski Ben Eoin obtained funding ... […]
Tanukichan Premieres New Single PERFECT + Debut Album SUNDAY Out July 13
on May 30, 2018 at 10:21 am
Tanukichan, the shoegaze project of Hannah van Loon, shared a new single from her forthcoming debut album Sundays today. Stereogum premiered "Perfect," saying, "A guitar sneers and bustles around van Loon's cooing falsetto, building a sunny, hazy melody. […]
Tanukichan – “Perfect”
on May 30, 2018 at 7:06 am
Bay Area multi-instrumentalist Hannah van Loon is gearing up to release Sundays, the debut LP for her dream-pop project Tanukichan, following her 2016 EP Radiolove. Produced by Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi, the album settles into warm shoegaze via lush fuzz ... […]
Google 'moonshot' captain Astro Teller opens up about experimentation
on May 21, 2018 at 6:51 am
That includes Google's self-driving car spinoff, Waymo and its experimental Internet-beaming balloon effort Project Loon. Just before the Silicon Valley Forum Visionary Awards ceremony last week, Teller — one of the four honorees — spoke with the ... […]
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