Google and Tesla have plans to help rebuild Puerto Rico

Senior Airmen Antonio Farias 433rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and Tech. Sgt. Michael Saldana 433rd Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs fix an exterior lighting on an Air Force Reserve Command C-5M Super Galaxy assigned to the 433rd Airlift Wing during

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday granted Alphabet-owned Project Loon an experimental license to operate in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands for the objective of helping the islands regain connectivity.

First up Google has just nabbed a temporary license for it to provide an emergency cell network across Puerto Rico using its Project Loon technology - that's where giant, floating balloons are used to get connectivity out to remote areas that lack the usual internet and cell tower infrastructure.

It could help provide the people of Puerto Rico with access to cellular service to connect with loved ones and access life-saving information.

The United States plans to have 17,000 military personnel in Puerto Rico to aid disaster recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria, a Democratic senator briefed on the plan told reporters on Saturday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk often takes to Twitter to mull over ideas, but on Friday his musings about sending his company's solar-powered batteries to help restore Puerto Rico's power attracted the attention of the island's governor.

Musk said he was diverting resources from a semi-truck project to fix Model 3 bottlenecks and "increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas". "Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner's network-the balloons can't do it alone". "I'm glad the FCC was able to grant this experimental license with dispatch and I urge wireless carriers to cooperate with Project Loon to maximize this effort's chances of success".

But the Puerto Rico situation is different.

The US Federal Communications Commission announced its decision on Friday evening, one of a number of ways in which tech companies are helping rebuild services. But with its aircraft still in the testing phase, the company said Friday that the engineers it's sent to Puerto Rico are focused on providing support to NetHope's teams. "People know right away".

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