Telecommunications provider Claro de Puerto Rico announced Thursday it has added sectors in Yauco, Utuado and Naranjito to its broadband network expansion project, benefitting some 40,000 homes and more than 1,780 families.
The expansion project is being financed with $31.5 million Claro received through the Connect America Fund, under the auspices of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC launched Broadband Adoption Lifeline Pilot Program deployment program to promote delivering high-speed Internet to unserved rural areas throughout the U.S., including Puerto Rico.
Specifically, residents in the Cotuy sector in Yauco, the Corchos and Sabana Grande sectors in Utuado and Lomas García in Naranjito will be able to benefit from broadband service.
“We are excited to offer high-speed Internet to residents of Yauco, Utuado and Naranjito. We know that beyond having access to fiber optic technology, this represents a great opportunity for economic and social development in these communities,” said Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, president of Claro.
“We continue our steady stride in the deployment of broadband in rural areas supported by our ability and confidence placed in us by the FCC,” he said.
Claro began its deployment project in May, when 800 families in the mountain town of Corozal gained access to broadband for the first time. The expansion plan will continue in sectors of Ciales, Yabucoa, Villalba, Coamo and Jayuya in coming weeks.
Eventually, 40,000 homes throughout the island that currently have dial-up access to the Internet will have the same benefit. The company anticipates wrapping up the broadband deployment 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.