Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mayors make suggestions to telecom industry about hurricane preparation plans

By on August 8, 2018

(Courtesy)

SAN JUAN – A group of mayors participated Wednesday in the Emergency Preparedness forum of the Puerto Rican Communications Alliance, where they discussed the different experiences lived after hurricane Maria and preparation plans for the current hurricane season.

“From this process, we learned a lot, and from the municipalities, the dynamic is of total cooperation with the industry so that the recovery is quick and effective. For our part, we suggest that in the case of towers and equipment powered by generators, fuel supply be coordinated with the municipalities to prevent the generators from running out. The idea is that together we can provide uninterrupted service until the electric service returns,” Guayanilla Mayor Nelson Torres said in a statement.

Morovis Mayor Carmen Maldonado thanked the initiative of the alliance and proposed that a coordinated plan be established with federal authorities regarding access to satellite phones to deal with emergency situations.

“For example, in the case of Morovis, we were provided with a satellite phone equipment that did not work and that is the experience we have seen with fellow mayors, especially in the mountain municipalities. I am confident that the telecommunications industry will make an additional effort to help the municipalities in the mountains to have access to communications, particularly for medical and social emergency cases,” Maldonado said.

Corozal Mayor Sergio Torres seconded the initiative. “Logically, there is a reasonable period of time to restore services, but our priority is to deal with medical emergency cases that arise after weather events.”

After Hurricane Maria, the Telecommunications Board of Puerto Rico requested the mayors sign an authorization for telecom providers could have immediate access to public facilities and roads, so the service restoration brigades could do your work quickly.

“That initiative was very good, logically due to the state of emergency, but the documentation must be expanded to cover details related to the subsequent restoration of public roads and the payment of building fees after the emergency,” argued Yordán Torres, who chaired the House Consumer and Antitrust Affairs Committee before becoming mayor.

The mayors of Hormigueros, Pedro García; of Cabo Rojo, Roberto Ramírez Kurtz; and representatives of the Mayagüez and San Lorenzo mayors, among others, participated in the meeting. The forum was attended by the president of the Puerto Rican Telecommunications Alliance, Pedro Andrés, of Neptuno Networks; its vice president, Luis Romero, from Optivon PR; along with Enrique Ortíz from Claro PR and Juan Rodríguez from Data@ccess.

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