Giant balloons provide basic internet access to Puerto Rico

Visit http://archive.nextanimationstudio.com or contact [email protected] to license this or any News Direct video
For story suggestions please contact [email protected]

RESTRICTIONS: NONE

Giant balloons are now delivering mobile access to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, thanks to a team-up between Google's parent company Alphabet, and AT&T.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 68% of cell sites in Puerto Rico are still out of service as of October 20 one month after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Reuters reports that to help restore communications, Project Loon has deployed giant balloons, which use the AT&T network, to provide emergency internet service on the island.

The service is limited to those with LTE-enabled phones, and supports text messaging, email, and basic web browsing.

The balloons float 20 kilometers up in the stratosphere, providing service to a roughly 5,000 square-kilometer area. Solar panels power daytime operations, while also charging a battery for nighttime use.

Though still an experimental technology, Project Loon proved effective in early 2017, when it provided basic connectivity to flood-affected areas in Peru.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. 68% of cell sites in Puerto Rico still out of service
2. Project Loon balloons use AT&T network to deliver basic internet connectivity
3. Those with LTE phones can text, email, browse the internet
4. Solar panels power balloons in the day, charge batteries for use at night

VOICEOVER (in English):

"More than 68% of cell sites in Puerto Rico are still out of service a month after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria."

"To help restore communications, Project Loon has deployed giant balloons, which use the AT&T network, to provide emergency internet service on the island."

"The service is limited to those with LTE-enabled phones, and supports text messaging, email, and basic web browsing."

"The balloons float 20 kilometers up in the stratosphere, providing service to a roughly 5,000 square-kilometer area. Solar panels power daytime operations, while also charging a battery for nighttime use."

SOURCES:
Reuters, X, Federal Communications Commission
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-cellular/alphabet-balloon-project-to-provide-limited-internet-in-puerto-rico-idUSKBN1CP2RN
https://blog.x.company/turning-on-project-loon-in-puerto-rico-f3aa41ad2d7f
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db1020/DOC-347349A1.pdf