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Education announces $75M wi-fi initiative for public schools

The Puerto Rico Department of Education announced a $75 million initiative to provide wireless broadband access to public school students and teachers through June 30.

In a release, the agency confirmed the funding will come from the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund. The three companies participating in the initiative are Liberty Puerto Rico, Claro Puerto Rico and AeroNet.

Those interested should complete the application through the Department’s website and the system will automatically indicate if the person is eligible for the aid and will send the eligibility certificate to the email provided by the applicant.

“This Wi-Fi Hotspots program will provide high-speed service in the homes of thousands of Puerto Rican families and will serve as a useful tool when completing tasks and meeting the requirements of each class,” said Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos-Parés.

Starting today, the parents or guardians of the students will be able to start the process to complete the application, while the teaching staff will be able to submit it starting Jan. 24 and both application cycles close on April 1.

As part of the benefits, each participant will have up to a maximum of $250 to acquire the hotspot device and from $20 to $40 for the monthly internet payment.

Eligible applicants must be Department of Education students and employees or enrolled in an agency school, such as students, school principals, educational, and special education assistants.

As part of the eligibility requirements, the person will not be able to count with other federal aid for the payment of residential internet, at the time of requesting.

On the other hand, if the family has home internet, they will need to check that it complies with the minimum internet speed of 10 megabytes per second to be eligible.

Only one device per applicant will be issued, but parents/guardians may request a Wi-Fi Hotspot for each of their children, currently enrolled in a Department of Education school.

People will be able to print the eligibility certificate and take it in person or send it by email to the selected provider of their choice.

The equipment can be picked up in stores or request that it be sent by mail and in the case of Liberty, the equipment will be available for delivery starting Friday, Jan. 21.

It was further noted that if for any reason incorrect information is included on the application and the system indicates that they are not eligible, the individual will have another opportunity to correct and complete the information so that they can benefit from the program.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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