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Slow telecommunications recovery in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

By on September 27, 2017

SAN JUAN – The Telecommunications Regulatory Board (JRT by its Spanish initials), said  Thursday that Puerto Rico’s cellphone connections are currently at 28.5 percent capacity.

In addition, the entity whose report contains data submitted by the main cable TV, internet and VoIP companies on the island, says AT&T’s Evertec outage was fixed and Claro was able to restore service to Ponce and Mayagüez.

Ricardo Castellanos stands at a wifi hotspot in the aftermath of Hurricane María with many cellphone towers down in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. (Carlos Giusti/AP)

The report reveals that 96 of the 1,600 communications towers on the island are in service and several wireless providers already provide service in the metropolitan area.

As for fixed-line telephony, 100 percent of the international long distance service has been reestablished, while 65 percent of the intra-island long distance service has been restored. Likewise, Claro’s fixed telephony is fully restored in Fajardo and Río Grande.

Meanwhile, connection approval service (CAO), or satellite internet, in Mayagüez, Arecibo, Ponce, Río Grande, Cidra, Aguadilla and Humacao is expected to be up and running in about one week.

The JRT established an emergency management center at the government’s emergency operations center in the Puerto Rico Convention Center dedicated exclusively to restoring communications on the island with recovery experts and operations of the multiple companies working in coordination with state and federal agencies.

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