These days, it’s just as important to have communication up and running after a major disaster as it is to have power, food and drinkable water. The FCC approved $77 million to fix communications in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, while Project Loon (a collaboration with AT&T, Alphabet and T-Mobile) has found ways to get the internet up and running via LTE-providing balloons. Now, AT&T has deployed its helicopter Flying COW (Cell on Wings) to temporarily provide data, voice and text services to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
AT&T claims that this is the first time such a device has been deployed. The Flying COW hovers 200 to 400 feet above the ground and offers wireless connectivity in an up to 40-square-mile area, a distance that AT&T says is farther than other temporary cell sites. The drone is currently in the San Juan area of Puerto Rico and the company plans to relocate it to various other areas, including a military hospital at Manati Coliseum.