CenturyLink Collaborates with Alphabet’s Loon to Provide Internet Access in Earthquake-Affected Areas in Peru

Underserved areas in Peru affected by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake were able to access the internet thanks to Loon, a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space designed to extend internet connectivity to people in rural and remote areas worldwide. CenturyLink in collaboration with Alphabet’s Loon, deployed the solution delivering connectivity to tens of thousands of people cut off by the earthquake.

“In 2017, Peru was struck by devastating floods and we saw how important an integrated balloon powered network is to communities struggling to recover from the devastation,” said Luis Ladera, data and internet product director, CenturyLink Peru. “The recent earthquake was widespread. Being able to set up ground stations and connect the balloons to our internet backbone to reach areas with complete outages meant those most affected had the ability to communicate with loved ones and to have access to critical information.”

Forty-eight hours after the earthquake, Loon was able to connect balloons to the internet backbone using their ground stations and CenturyLink solutions to deliver service. CenturyLink holds the experimental E-band license in Peru for Loon’s backhaul services, which are still in a testing phase for commercial use. The 71-76 and 81-86 GHz bands, known as “E-band,” are permitted worldwide for ultra-high capacity point-to-point communications.

Key Facts:

  • On 27 May, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit the Amazon region in Peru. At the request of the government of Peru, Loon balloons were re-directed to the area. 48 hours later, the balloons arrived and began serving the community.
  • Leveraging Alphabet’s Loon balloons and CenturyLink’s backbone, affected areas were provided internet access and data capacity.
  • This is the second time balloon-powered internet has connected tens of thousands of people proving challenges in wireless coverage in areas of disaster can be addressed.
  • CenturyLink’s dedicated internet access provides global reach and scalability over its diversified network, with connectivity in more than 60 countries. Its IP backbone capacity is more than 72 terabits per second (Tbps).

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