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FCC Grants Experimental License for Project to Help Provide Cell Service in Puerto Rico


The FCC has granted an experimental license for "Project Loon," led by Google's parent company Alphabet, to help provide emergency cellular service in Puerto Rico.

“More than 2 weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, millions of Puerto Ricans are still without access to much-needed communications services,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. He explained that Project Loon is aimed to provide the people of Puerto Rico with access to cellular service to connect with family and friends and to access life-saving information.

“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,” he concluded.

Project Loon is a network of balloons that provides connectivity to users on the ground. Now that the experimental license has been approved, it will attempt to initiate service in Puerto Rico. Project Loon obtained consent agreements to use land mobile radio (LMR) radio spectrum in the 900-MHz band from existing carriers operating within Puerto Rico.

More than 80% of cellular sites remain out of service in Puerto Rico, according to the FCC.



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