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Puerto Rico Senate summons telecoms to hearing on service restoration

By on November 28, 2017

SAN JUAN – The chairman of the Senate Innovation, Telecommunications, Urbanism and Infrastructure Committee, Sen. Miguel Laureano, on Tuesday called the main telecommunications companies to a public hearing Dec. 5 to learn what the actual state of the service is. Thousands of families and businesses in many towns have not had their service restored after Hurricane María.

Sen. Miguel Laureano says he is not pleased with the state of telecommunications in many municipalities more than two months after Hurricane María. (Génesis Ibarra / CB)

Laureano Correa emphatically called on telecommunications companies to reveal exact figures and the state of services offered.

“To date, 78 percent of connectivity is reported for the island’s telecommunications network, which does not correlate with the day-to-day reality Puerto Ricans are living. Certainly, there is a disparity in the figures given to the Telecommunications Regulatory Board [JRT by its Spanish initials] versus those reported to the Federal Communications Commission [FCC],” Laureano Correa denounced in a press release.

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The legislator added that communications service is not only essential, but becomes more difficult the further one is from the metropolitan area, “and it is a serious and complicated situation that has to be addressed urgently.”

He said he presented legislation last week aimed at declaring communications an essential service and to ensure that companies have contingency plans that would make the work of restoring communications in the event of a disaster, such as the one caused by Hurricane María, faster and more effective. He then expressed not being pleased with the response of the service in many municipalities two months after suffering the weather disruption.

“The announcement of the super deals for new cellphones and services is of no use to us if the reality today is we have serious difficulties with the communications signal in scores of municipalities that continues to affect both consumers and jobs, as well as recovery and development in those municipalities,” the senator said.

He also reiterated he will be vigilant on the issue of credits and moratoriums that have been offered to consumers, “an issue that will also be discussed in the next week’s hearings.”

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