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FCC Announces Expanded High-Speed Broadband Access for Puerto Rico

FCC Announces All of Puerto Rico To Have Access to High-Speed Broadband Service as a Result of Uniendo A Puerto Rico Fund

Nearly a Third of Locations Will Get Speeds of At Least 1 Gbps with All Other Locations Getting Speeds of At Least 100 Mbps

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau today announced that funding through Stage 2 of the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund will result in all locations in Puerto Rico having access to fixed broadband service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps.  And nearly one-third of those locations will have access to fixed broadband service with speeds of at least 1 Gbps.   

Two winning applicants in the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Stage 2 Competitive Process submitted bids for $127.1 million in funding over 10 years covering more than 1.2 million locations through a competitive process that awarded support for fixed voice and broadband services based on the weighting of price and network performance, including speed, latency, usage allowance, and resiliency.  Liberty Communications has committed to offering service to over 914,000 locations, and Puerto Rico Telephone Company will offer service to over 308,000 locations.

Liberty Communications won approximately $71.54 million in support to provide high-speed broadband access to all locations in 43 of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipios (roughly equivalent to counties on the American mainland).  Puerto Rico Telephone Company won approximately $55.56 million in support to provide high-speed broadband access to all locations in the other 35 municipios.    

“These are incredible results!  I’m very pleased with the outcome of the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund’s Stage 2 Competitive Process,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “The Fund will bring modern, resilient broadband service of at least 100 Mbps to every location in Puerto Rico—each and every one.  As most people know, the island has suffered so much devastation to communications infrastructure from hurricanes in recent years, and even before that, connectivity was a challenge for many.  Our decisive action to enable the deployment of resilient, next-generation broadband networks throughout Puerto Rico reflects our determination to close the digital divide, which has been my top priority since becoming Chairman.”

Winning applicants will be able to receive funding after completing the Commission’s remaining steps for authorizing high-cost support.  More information on the Uniendo a Puerto Rico and Connect USVI Fund Stage 2 is available here: https://www.fcc.gov/uniendo-puerto-rico-and-connect-usvi-fund-stage-2.

Source: FCC media announcement

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