Regulators have approved Google’s application to provide emergency cell phone services to Puerto Rico using balloons in the wake of Hurriane Maria.
The US Federal Communications Commission announced its decision on Friday evening, one of a number of ways in which tech companies are helping rebuild services.
Communications remain patchy on the island. The FCC said that 83 percent of all cell sites remain out of service while wireless companies are rolling out temporary service sites.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company 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 …
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