Wednesday, October 4, 2017

FCC offers $76.9m advance to networks in Puerto Rico

The FCC will make available $76.9 million in emergency funding to help restore communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The action comes 2 weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the islands, knocking out nearly all communications. As of October 04, 2017, 86.3% of cell sites remain out of service. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 66.0% of cell sites are out of service, and 100% of cell sites in St. John are still out of service.

The FCC emergency funding actually draws upon funds designated for high-cost universal service support. Telecommunications carriers (ETCs) operating in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who are already eligible for these funds may now choose a single advance payment of up to seven months of high-cost support to assist with their immediate needs and
anticipated large repair costs in restoring their communications networks.