Google and Tesla have plans to help rebuild Puerto Rico

Adjust Comment Print

The FCC said yesterday that 83% of cell sites on the island are down, forcing carriers in the US territory to employ backup methods in an effort to get their networks running.

Puerto Rico is still reeling from the devastation from Hurricane Maria, which has left billions of dollars worth of damage in its wake, flooded the country and destroyed a lot of the buildings. They were among several tech companies proposing disaster response ideas, most aimed at getting phone and internet service up and running.

"More than two 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.

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".

More news: 'Saturday Night Live' hammers President Trump over Puerto Rico response
More news: General Motors Company (GM) Stake Increased by Acadian Asset Management LLC
More news: Plane forced to land in Newfoundland after engine blowout

The FCC announced Saturday that it's approved an experimental license for Project Loon to operate in Puerto Rico.

As communication providers that were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria continue their recovery effort, the FCC has announced the creation of a Hurricane Recovery Task Force.

Alphabet has confirmed it plans to use solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to support the restoration of "limited communications capability" in the United States unincorporated territory.

Tesla is also dedicating its services to hurricane relief efforts: yesterday, Elon Musk said that he could rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid in the long-term using solar energy. Now around 10 percent of residents on the island have power. 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. Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner's network-the balloons can't do it alone.