The U.S. Treasury awarded $158 million in Capital Projects Fund (CPF) money for Puerto Rico broadband. The commonwealth will use $85.7 million for broadband infrastructure and $64.7 million for multi-purpose community technology centers.
The remaining $8 million will be used to administer the programs.
The $158 million represents Puerto Rico’s total allotment in the CPF program.
“More than 61,000 homes and small businesses in Puerto Rico are in areas without broadband infrastructure,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves in a prepared statement about the Puerto Rico broadband awards. “Increasing broadband access will expand access to healthcare, education and employment and is a monumental step that will allow more Americans to participate in our modern economy.”
The broadband infrastructure funding will go toward the Puerto Rico Submarine Cable Resiliency Program for a new submarine fiber route from the island to the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As part of the project, three new cable landing stations will be established on Puerto Rico’s coastlines.
The multi-purpose community technology center funding will go toward the Puerto Rico Multi-purpose Community Technology Center Program, which will establish centers in areas where the public can access high-speed internet, use on-site devices, borrow devices for at-home use. In addition, those using the center will gain access to educational opportunities in technology and digital learning. They will be able to work remotely and access healthcare services.
The Capital Projects Fund has a total budget of $10 billion. Treasury first began making awards in the program in June 2022.
As of now, nearly $8 billion in CPF money has been awarded.