We're grateful for the support of the FCC and the Puerto Rican authorities as we work hard to see if it's possible to use Loon balloons to bring emergency connectivity to the island during this time of need.
It was the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in over a century and the 155mph winds left Puerto Rico entirely without power. One of the odd projects that has come out of X is Project Loon. The balloons that were deployed in Peru, in fact, were launched from Puerto Rico. She added that "we've been making solid progress" on that next step.
As Puerto Ricans try and rebuild their lives, that sort of data service could be vital - According to the latest figures, 83 percent of cell sites are still out of action on the island. "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".
The project was initially announced in 2013, intending to use balloons at high altitudes - and powered by the sun - to get cell service and internet capabilities into remote areas.
"This is a temporary fix while we work on laying and splicing miles of fiber, but it will help our customers stay connected with family and friends", he said.
The parent company of Google received the green light on Friday to provide emergency cellular service to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico using balloons.
-Jack Nicas contributed to this article.