Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is collaborating with Apple, AT&T, and government agencies including the FCC, FAA, and FEMA, to deliver limited wireless Internet access to Puerto Rico via the company’s Project Loon balloons, as announced in a blog post by Alistair Westgarth, head of Project Loon.
The partnership is supporting basic communication and Internet activities like sending text messages and accessing information online for some people with LTE enabled phones. Currently, balloons launched in Nevada are floating above the hardest hit parts of the island, temporarily replacing ground infrastructure destroyed by the storm.
Project Loon is a research and development project being developed with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas. The project uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 11 miles to create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-LTE speeds.