After Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc throughout Puerto Rico, the government has been struggling to reestablish communication services. With nearly 83% of cell sites unusable, wireless companies are doing what they can to set up temporary sites. In order to help with this problem, one company has offered to deploy high tech balloons.
The company is called Alphabet, and they have been working on something called Project Loon since 2013 that uses solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to provide internet service in remote areas. The FCC is currently working on a way to help licensed mobile carriers gain communications abilities through these balloons.
If this plan works, it could provide a means for short term, immediate restoration of communications services in areas affected by natural disasters.