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Telecom Regulatory Board to seek FCC recovery funding

By on January 22, 2018

SAN JUAN – The Telecommunications Regulatory Board (JRT) will ask the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for funding to assist recovery of Puerto Rico’s many towns that remain without communications more than 120 days after Hurricane Maria tore across the island.

In a Radio Isla interview Monday, JRT Board President Sandra Torres said repairing the communication infrastructure in the island’s central mountainous region is too costly and still remains a challenge. Since Maria hit the island Sept. 20, many communities still remain without telecommunications services.

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“We want to see if there is a possibility, as has happened in the past, to obtain federal funds from the ‘high cost fund’ offered by the FCC to Alaska and other places, to help restore the infrastructure of some communities that do not have telecommunications service right now,” she said.

Torres said her first meeting will be with Roger Sherman, acting director of the FCC’s wireless telecommunications office. Sherman is slated to present several alternatives to improve the island’s infrastructure, including burying lines.

The governor has signed into law bills declaring telecommunications as essential services.

After Puerto Rico was hit by recent hurricanes, most telephone lines and powerlines were destroyed.

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