Claro Puerto Rico has filed a certification at the Federal Communications Commission of its plans to retire its copper infrastructure at dozens of locations islandwide, starting in March 2020, this media outlet learned.
Claro intends to retire copper distribution and copper loop facilities where it has deployed or plans to deploy fiber-to-the-premise as a replacement, the company told the FCC.
The work will be performed in central offices serving areas in Arecibo, Bayamón, Carolina, Cataño, Coamo, Guaynabo, Hatillo, Mayagüez, Ponce, San Juan, Toa Alta, and Toa Baja. The planned investment was not disclosed.
“All but one of these locations had been previously identified…as areas that were affected by Hurricanes Irma and María and, as such, were covered by the temporary authorization for emergency discontinuance of service…requested on Aug. 3, 2018,” the telecom company explained.
“The retirement of the copper facilities and their replacement with fiber-to-the-premise will allow [Claro] to restore telecommunications services in these affected areas,” the carrier stated.
After the copper facilities are replaced, Claro will no longer provide maintenance or service over them.
The majority of customers currently served by copper facilities at the identified locations pay for “plain old telephone service” (POTS) from Claro.
“After the transition to fiber, [Claro] will continue to offer these customers the same POTS service over fiber at the same price that it was offered prior to the transition to fiber. Certain telecommunications services that [Claro] currently offers via the copper facilities may be incompatible with fiber, however,” the company stated.
The carrier confirmed it will work with the affected consumers and/or interconnected entities to offer fiber-based alternatives, at its set rates for the services.