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Trump rejects UN request for FBI probe into Khashoggiís murder to save weapons sales             Tory leadership race exposes Britainís democratic deficit             Georgia parliament head quits after 240 injured in crackdown             Russia will help Iran with oil, banking if payment channel not launched: Ryabkov             Iran refrained from hitting manned US plane accompanying downed drone, IRGC says             Senior Afghan Politicians In Pakistan For Key Meeting             SCO plays constructive role in promoting regional peace, stability: Statement             1000s of Haitians protest against corruption            Trump announces exit of his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders            Ghani, Modi Discuss Afghan Peace in Bishkek             SCO Summit Begins In Bishkek            Video: Iran saves crewmembers of tanker hit in Sea of Oman             World reacts as two tankers Ďattackedí in Sea of Oman             Police shooting of black man triggers unrest in Memphis, Tennessee            UK government signs order to enable Assange extradition to US            

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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