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CE Abdullah Meets Pakistanís President             Denmark, Norway Eye Kabul Center for Minors Denied Asylum            NATO rejects Qatar membership demand             Franceís Macron: Phone calls with Trump like sausages, better not know whatís inside             EU wants firms exempt from US sanctions on Iran             Argentina calls off soccer friendly against Israel under pressure from campaigners             NATO discussing funding for Afghanistanian forces beyond 2020: Stoltenberg            ĎIntercultural Dialogue for Peace and Developmentí Held at UN Headquarters to Create a Foundation of Understanding and Tolerance            Suratul Qadr, (The Night of) Ordainment or Power             Russia spares no effort to settle tensions in Korean Peninsula: Putin             Trump-Kim summit set for Singaporeís Sentosa Island: White House            Franceís PSA again reverses on Iran deal in deference to US             EU confirms Iran enrichment plan not in nuclear deal violation            Mexico responds to US tariffs by imposing own duties            Facebook ínot aware of any abuseí of data by phone makers            

DATE PUBLISHED: 2017/10/7 - 10:02:18
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Google to use balloons to give Puerto Rico cell service
 Google to use balloons to give Puerto Rico cell service

The US Federal Communications Commission said late on Friday it had approved Alphabet Incís application to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico through balloons.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled to regain communications services. The FCC said on Friday that 83 percent of cell sites remain out of service, while wireless communications company are deploying temporary sites.

Alphabet, which announced its Project Loon in 2013 to use solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to provide internet service in remote regions, said in an FCC filing it was working to "support licensed mobile carriersí restoration of limited communications capability" in Puerto Rico.

Earlier on Friday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced he was forming a Hurricane Recovery Task Force with an emphasis on addressing challenges facing Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

"It is critical that we adopt a coordinated and comprehensive approach to support the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services," Pai said in a statement.

Separately, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said in a Twitter posting late on Friday that he had a "great initial conversation with @elonmusk tonight. Teams are now talking; exploring opportunities. Next steps soon to follow."

Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Inc, said on Friday the company would send more battery installers to Puerto Rico to help restore power after Hurricane Maria knocked out all power on the island over two weeks ago.

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."

In late September, Tesla said it was sending hundreds of batteries that can store power generated by solar panels to Puerto Rico to provide emergency help in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

 

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