Alphabet’s Project Loon to deliver internet to Puerto Rico
The Federal Communications Commission has granted Alphabet’s Project Loon an experimental license to operate in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help the islands regain connectivity following recent natural disasters. The license is already in operation, and will expire on 4 April 2018. It will allow Loon’s helium balloons to deliver “emergency LTE cellular reception” to the areas, letting users reconnect with family friends and the government following recent devastation. As of now, it is not clear how many balloons will be deployed, or how area they will cover.
Alphabet’s share price has risen by 25% year to date
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
The license states that “the purpose of the [Special Temporary Authority] is to support licensed mobile carriers’ restoration of limited communications capability in areas of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.”
Puerto Rico, which is home to nearly 3.5 million people, was devastated by Category 4 storm, Hurricane Maria in recent weeks. More than 90% of the islands cell towers were disabled, and its communications infrastructure has been decimated. A report from the FCC last week shows that recovery has been slow: 83% of towers are still down.
Project Loon will not work alone. The company is currently looking for a local partner. A spokesperson for Alphabet’s X lab gave a statement last week: “To deliver signal to people’s devices, Loon needs to be integrated with a telco partner’s network – the balloons can’t do it alone. We’ve been making solid progress on this next step and would like to thank everyone who’s been lending a hand.”
Dominion holds Alphabet in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
If you would you like to receive the Newsfeeds daily, please click here to sign up now!Help us make this Newsfeed better by rating this article. 1 star = Poor and 5 stars = Excellent
- Click here to print this story: Print
The views expressed in this article are those of the author at the date of publication and not necessarily those of Dominion Fund Management Limited. The content of this article is not intended as investment advice and will not be updated after publication. Images, video, quotations from literature and any such material which may be subject to copyright is reproduced in whole or in part in this article on the basis of Fair use as applied to news reporting and journalistic comment on events.