Hurricane Maria's affects have left millions of Puerto Rican citizens without cellular service, water and electricity. The balloons, which float 11 miles above target areas, send signal to each other from a base station to create an aerial wireless network that provides LTE to unconnected areas. The project name Loon was a reflection of how crazy the idea was when Google first imagined the solution, but there's nothing crazy about the idea now as the aerial system, when active, will provide coverage to Puerto Rico and nearby US Virgin Islands.
The FCC has given Alphabet permission to operate it's Loon network of balloons through April of 2018.
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