FCC asked to intervene in Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery efforts
SAN JUAN – New Progressive Party Sen. Miguel Laureano requested the intervention of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make telecommunications providers in Puerto Rico report the actual state of their service after Hurricane María.
The legislator also requested the FCC’s collaboration in two bills aimed at regulating the certification of these companies on the island after service collapsed as a result of the impact of the hurricane and has yet to be fully restored nearly 80 days later.
According government-released figures on http://www.status.pr/, telecommunications service is at 85% despite the goal set by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (JRT): 95% in December.
The head of the Senate Innovation, Telecommunications, Urban Planning and Infrastructure Committee sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
“In our letter, I also explained the discrepancies between the numbers provided to the regulatory agencies in Puerto Rico versus the reality of Puerto Ricans day-to-day in many municipalities, where there is zero connectivity, which has delayed much of the recovery work and, therefore, worsened businesses’ output,” Laureano said in a press release.
The senator requested a hearing with experts from the federal agency to get advice that would be useful for the proposed legislation and the accreditation process of telecoms on the island. He also informed the FCC about Senate bills 710 and 711, which seek to improve contingency plans and have communications considered an essential service when facing an emergency or catastrophe.