On the heels of Tesla's Elon Musk offer to help solve the island's power problem, Alphabet, Google's parent company, has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission to fly balloons over the island that would help replace the cellphone towers that were blown over by the hurricane.
The Project Loon team is planning to deploy several balloons beneath the sky for an emergency LTE service, which will be using Band 8 LTE. "The Hurricane Recovery Task Force will allow us to do just that". It's dedicated to repairing damage caused by the entire season's slew of storms, but will focus on fixing the communications networks on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the latter of which was so damaged that nearly 90 percent of its cell towers were downed by Hurricane Maria.
"It is critical that we adopt a coordinated and comprehensive approach to support the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services", Mr Pai said in statement.
On September 29th the X team said it was looking into ways to help Puerto Rico with Project Loon, similar to the way it helped provide service in Peru after extreme rains and flooding struck the nation in March. It's unclear if Puerto Rico's stressed telecom companies even have the resources to partner with Google on this endeavor.
FEMA: Progress, But 'Hard Day' in Puerto Rico
Celebs like John Legend and Lady Gaga took to Twitter to criticize the President and show their support for Puerto Rico . President Trump said the governor is a partner in the recovery effort.
"To deliver signal to people's devices, Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner's network - the balloons can't do it alone", she said, adding that the company is "making solid progress on this next step".
Tesla is now working on "the world's biggest" lithium ion battery to help with power supply in South Australia. It's a different story for Puerto Rico.
Project Loon sends balloons intro the stratosphere - twice as high as commercial airliners - where they are self-powered by solar panels.