A bunch of balloons delivered basic Internet to 100000 Puerto Rico residents

A Loon balloon getting ready to take flight to Puerto Rico from our launch site in Nevada

The hot-air balloons arrived over the island from Nevada three weeks ago and have been delivering internet access to certain AT&T and T-Mobile customers in the most damaged areas.

Project Loon has provided mobile data to more than 100,000 people in Puerto Rico, according to Google parent company Alphabet, which operates the enterprise. For context, Puerto Rico has a population of approximately 3.4 million, with the balloons targeting the hardest hit regions.

It's the first time the balloons have been launched at such a rapid pace.

The service is a part of Alphabet's X balloon-powered internet program called Project Loon, where it is transmitting internet services with the help of helium air balloons at disaster-stricken locations. But thanks to this experience, he added, they are becoming familiar with external factors such as winds. Westgarth also admitted that the team is unsure how well these balloons will work or how long they will remain over Puerto Rico, so there remains some uncertainty regarding their effectiveness and longevity. While most of its people have gained access to potable water, more than 25 percent of Puerto Rico is still without reliable telecommunications service, cutting them off from the outside world.

The Verge said that the Project Loon is providing internet services to these people who have web access to AT&T communications and have 4G LTE-enabled handset.

"In times of crisis, being able to communicate with loved ones, emergency services and critical information is key", Westgarth told reporters.



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