Telecommunications/Technology

800 families in Corozal to access broadband service

From left: Claro President Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, Corozal Mayor Sergio Torres and Telecommunications Regulatory Board Javier Rúa-Jovet discuss details of the broadband project. From left: Claro President Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, Corozal Mayor Sergio Torres and Telecommunications Regulatory Board Javier Rúa-Jovet discuss details of the broadband project.

Telecommunications provider Claro de Puerto Rico announced Tuesday the first project developed with the $31.5 million it received from the Connect America Fund, that will enable 800 families in the mountain town of Corozal to access broadband Internet for the first time.

Eventually, 40,000 homes throughout the island that currently have dial-up access to the Internet will have the same benefit as part of the Broadband Adoption Lifeline Pilot Program deployment program sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission, company officials said.

“For Claro, it’s a great honor that the FCC chose us for this great project in Puerto Rico. The company I head has an unbreakable commitment to develop broadband on the island, a commitment that was evidenced a few weeks ago with the connection to the América Móvil 1 undersea cable,” said Claro President Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, during a news conference to offer details about the deployment at the Barrio Cuchillas sector in Corozal.

“Today we take another significant step because thanks to the FCC’s assignment, we can deliver our powerful fiber optic network to more than 40,000 homes across Puerto Rico,” he said.

As this media outlet reported, Claro requested the funding from the FCC in August 2013, which it subsequently received.

The broadband expansion plan will continue to rural areas in other mountain towns, namely Utuado and Yauco, he said.

The company anticipates wrapping up the broadband deployment to the 40,000 homes in mid-2015. If eligible, the benefitted families will have the option to apply for Universal Service Fund subsidies of up to $12.75 on their monthly phone bill.

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