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FCC extends deadline to file comments on P.R./USVI special funds

The FCC is seeking comment on injecting almost $900 million in medium- and long-term funding into expanding and improving broadband access on the islands. (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau has extended the deadline for filing comments and reply comments in response to the “Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund” and the “Connect USVI Fund” until July 26, and Aug. 8, respectively.

The original deadlines to file comments were July 5 and July 18, respectively. The FCC is seeking comment on injecting almost $900 million in medium- and long-term funding into expanding and improving broadband access on the islands.

On June 22, Puerto Rico Telephone Company, which does business as Claro de Puerto Rico, filed a motion requesting a three-week extension of the comment and reply comment deadline in this proceeding.

The telecom provider stated that an extension was “necessary due to the complexity of the issues presented by the proposals in the [“Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund” and the “Connect USVI Fund”] at a time when affected carriers are engaged in massive post-hurricane restoration efforts.” No one has opposed the request, the FCC stated.

“While it is the policy of the FCC that extensions shall not be routinely granted, we find that an extension of the comment deadlines is appropriate in this case to allow interested parties adequate time to respond,” the agency noted.

“We find that an additional three weeks is an appropriate period of time to extend the comment deadlines in order to provide parties additional time to analyze the complex technical, legal, and policy considerations raised by the proceeding,” it added.

“This is especially true for carriers who are focused on rebuilding and restoring services following the devastating 2017 hurricane season,” the FCC stated.

“We find that permitting interested parties an additional three weeks in which to file their comments will allow parties to provide the FCC with more thorough comments, ensuring that the Commission has a complete record on which to develop its decisions,” the federal regulator confirmed.

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Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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