BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing a creative response to repair the damage done by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico by tapping into the Universal Service Fund for necessary infrastructure repairs. A decision on the matter is planned for the agency’s October 24 meeting, but could happen sooner.
FCC proposes extra funds to restore Puerto Rico comms, from Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. telecoms regulator on Tuesday proposed making available up to $77 million to fund repairs of communication networks and restore services in storm-lashed Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As of Monday – almost two weeks after Hurricane Maria walloped Puerto Rico, knocking out its electric grid – nearly 90 percent of cell phone sites on the island remained out of service, according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Almost 70 percent of cell towers remained out in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with little progress made over the last week.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai said on Tuesday that he wants carriers to be advanced money from the U.S. government’s Universal Service Fund “to expedite repair and restoration efforts.”