Funding through Stage 2 of the FCC Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund will provide the U.S. territory with broadband speeds of 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, with a third of locations receiving the fastest speeds. The FCC Puerto Rico broadband fund will provide $127.1 million toward the cost of the deployments.
The action follows another earlier this year designed to improve broadband access in the area. In June, the FCC announced a three-year funding plan to spend $237.9 million in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to expand, improve and harden mobile wireless broadband networks in the two U.S. territories.
Liberty Communications and Puerto Rico Telephone Company will be deploying the new Puerto Rican broadand infrastructure, paid for in part by the $127.1 million, 10-year funding from Uniendo a Puerto Rico. Liberty Communications won approximately $71.54 million and will provide access in 43 of Puerto Rico’s 70 municipios (similar to American counties), while Puerto Rico Telephone Company, which received about $55.56 million will offer high-speed broadband in the other 35 municipios. Liberty Communications will service about three times as many locations (914,000) as Puerto Rico Telephone Company (308,000).
“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, in a prepared statement about the FCC Puerto Rico broadband fund news. “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.”