U.S. government can provide internet to Cuba using high altitude balloons

According to members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US government can use high-altitude balloons to provide Cubans with Internet access.

“Advantages of high-altitude balloons: a proven technology that does not require new infrastructure in Cuba,” Brendan Kerr wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis urged President Joe Biden to provide the Internet to the island after the ruling administration moved to close the island.

“I will help you confront the oppression of communism and provide Internet access to Cubans who demand voice after decades of suffering under a cruel dictatorship. I’m writing to encourage you, “DeSantis said in a letter to Biden this week. Democratic Party.

Mr. Kerr needs to follow a two-track strategy in which the United States focuses on introducing new internet connections through balloons and other proven technologies and on strengthening support for siphon-like technologies. Said. Avoid blocking. “

Psiphon said Friday and Thursday alone helped about 1.4 million Cubans access the Internet through a free detour tool.

Kerr responded to an article stating that Google’s parent company Alphabet had been working on projects involving balloons and the Internet for years. Alphabet canceled the project in January and said authorities could not find a way to achieve low costs enough to build a long-term, sustainable business.

The FCC previously resolved to approve a similar project run by a company called Raven in the wake of a hurricane in Puerto Rico.

Mr. Kerr also saw the technology working in rural Kenya, he told reporters at a press conference with Desantis this week.

“What we need at this point is the bipartisan political will of the entire government. The Biden administration needs to say that efforts to provide Internet services to the Cuban people are completely delayed. When that is done … DoD is needed. Providing approval, FAA [are] If necessary, the FCC will provide the necessary spectral rights and the Department of State will address international affairs, “said Kerr.

“As soon as President Biden says behind the federal government behind these issues, there are no insurmountable technical challenges. The American freelance enterprise system has developed these technologies, and we have them. You can unleash them by giving them a green light at the federal level. “

On July 11, 2021, during a protest in Havana, Cuba, people shouted a slogan to the government. (Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters)

If the federal government does not fund the effort, it can be raised through other means, such as Cuban Americans, Congressman Maria Salazar (Republican) suggested.

Marcel Felipe, a lawyer and businessman, said he had been in contact with defense industry contractors for some time about deploying high-altitude balloons in Cuba and warned the State Department of a proposal and a representative of Florida’s House of Representatives.

“We started this before the pandemic. They already have a tuned plan to cover almost the entire area of ​​Cuba, which is not a super-advanced technology and can be implemented relatively quickly. This is what I did in the Middle East, “he said.

The Cuban administration is facing national protests by those who are upset by the Communist government.

Internet connectivity will better allow Cubans to send photos and videos of what is happening on the ground.

Biden told reporters this week that Cuba is a “failed state” and communism is a “failed state.” ]

“We are considering blocking access to the Internet, and we are considering whether we have the technical ability to regain that access,” he said.

White House spokesman Jen Psaki said on Friday that the proposed approach was “what we want to get involved” before asking the State Department for questions on the issue, but the question came back soon. Was not done.

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