FCC opens $504M funding window for telecom upgrades in Puerto Rico
The Federal Communications Commission announced it will accept proposals from telecommunications companies in Puerto Rico to receive funding from the “Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund.”
The fund has $504.7 million available during a 10-year period to support fixed broadband projects by companies in the Puerto Rico market. Another $186.5 million is available under the Connect USVI Fund for fixed services support, for projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The competitive application process will be open through Sept. 3, 2020, the federal regulatory agency said.
The competitive proposal process will award support based on three criteria: (1) price per location; (2) network performance, including speed, latency, and usage allowance; and (3) network resilience and redundancy, the agency stated.
“Recipients may offer a variety of broadband service offerings as long as they offer at least one standalone voice plan and one service plan that provides broadband at the relevant performance tier and latency requirements, and these plans must be offered to retail customers at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates offered in urban areas,” the FCC stated.
The FCC has established milestones for fund recipients, including completing construction and begin offering retail service to at least 40% of the locations in an area by the end of the third year of support, to at least 60% by the end of the fourth year, at least 80% and by the end of the fifth year, and to 100% by the end of the sixth year.