Raven-Google balloon project approved in Puerto Rico

From staff reports

Project Loon, which uses balloons designed and manufactured by Sioux Falls-based Raven Industries, has been approved by the FCC to deliver emergency cellular service in Puerto Rico.

Following Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has had trouble regaining its communication services.

Project Loon, led by Google parent company Alphabet, uses high-altitude, solar-powered balloons to provide Internet service in remote areas.

The balloons were used earlier this year to provide coverage in Peru following floods.

The FCC said 82 percent of cell sites remained out of service over the weekend. It issued an experimental license to X, the offshoot of Google working on Project Loon, to use the balloons.

X said in an FCC filing it was working to “support licensed mobile carriers’ restoration of limited communications capability” in Puerto Rico.

Raven has worked with Google to test the balloons worldwide over the past few years. In 2015, a balloon flew for a record 187 days across four continents.

A timeline for using the balloons in Puerto Rico hasn’t been announced.

Raven-Google balloon project approved in Puerto Rico

Project Loon, which uses balloons designed and manufactured by Sioux Falls-based Raven Industries, has been approved by the FCC to deliver emergency cellular service in Puerto Rico.

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