Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Alphabet’s Balloons Will Float Data Into Puerto Rico

October 9, 2017

The island’s battered telecom network is going to be resuscitated from the sky. The Federal Communications Commission has given Alphabet’s X lab permission to launch 30 of its stratospheric Project Loon balloons to heights of 12.5 miles above Puerto Rico. The inflatables will provide voice calls and data to locals who are currently without, since Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed much of the island’s telecoms infrastructure.

Just because it has permission to launch, though, doesn’t mean that Puerto Ricans will be making calls right away. As Wired notes, X will need to work with local telecom firms to get cellular provision up and running, and, on the ground, some handsets may need software updates to make use of the service. Still, if successful, it's thought that the 30 balloons should be able to provide the entire island with a connection—perhaps even with enough spare capacity to connect parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands, too.

You can read more about how Project Loon works in our write-up from when we named it one of our 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2015.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.