Balloons Have Delivered Internet To Over 100000 Puerto Ricans

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There's still much work to begun to bring Puerto Rico back up to full strength, so hopefully, special projects like Loon can continue to serve as a temporary reprieve as larger recovery efforts are undertaken.

Alphabet X's balloon-powered Project Loon has beamed internet access to over 100,000 users in hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico. The only drawback is that customers must have an LTE-enabled phone to access the aerial network, which is offering basic wireless connectivity for text messages, emails, and light internet browsing.

Three weeks after the deployment of Project Loon, Alphabet's X Lab, which runs Project Loon, tweeted that more than 100,000 people have been able to connect to the internet thanks to the high-flying balloons. Alphabet has however worked with AT&T and T-Mobile, and are together getting communication and internet activities to people with LTE handsets.

However, one worry has been the constantly shifting winds over Puerto Rico.

Project Loon also released a video of Pedro Emmanuelli, a "launch specialist" from Puerto Rico, explaining how the operation releases balloons from a launch site in Winnemucca, Nevada, that end up hovering above Puerto Rico. Facebook, Tesla, and Cisco had promised to support the people during the disaster.

The balloons travel approximately 12 miles (20km) above the Earth's surface in the stratosphere. This doesn't mean to say Project Loon has been a total success, as outlined below.

The inflatable part of the balloon is called a balloon envelope made from sheets of polyethylene plastic that are 49ft (15 metres) wide and 40ft (12 metres) tall when inflated.

Project Loon is partnering with telecommunications companies and mobile networks to share cellular spectrum.

The signals can then hop forward, from one balloon to the next, along a backbone of up to five balloons.