SES works with Google’s ‘Project Loon’
October 24, 2017
By Chris Forrester
Satellite operator SES is working with Google’s experimental stratospheric balloon system, ‘Project Loon’, to bring telephone and broadband connectivity back to hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico.
‘Project Loon’, in this case, sees very high-altitude balloons used over Puerto Rico and SES-backed O3b’s FastConnect satellite terminals for further links into the world’s telecoms systems.
“Our thoughts are with those whose lives have been impacted by this devastating hurricane,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES Networks. “Access to connectivity is crucial in getting those affected the information and help they need after a natural disaster. We are really pleased to be working with [Project Loon’] and their other partners to deploy high-performance connectivity to Puerto Rico and to play a part in the island’s restoration efforts.”
However, initial reports from the Caribbean island show that the high-altitude balloons are being badly affected by winds, and snapshots of the balloons aerial movements (from FlightRadar24) show considerable variations and commensurate challenges in making use of the balloons.
Intelsat is also working with local officials on the island, and in the region generally, to supply satellite connectivity and in particular with Liberty Global’s local cable system.