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Gov’t agencies sign agreement to restore telecoms faster after catastrophic events

The Puerto Rico Telecommunications Bureau (NET, in Spanish) of the Public Service Regulatory Board, the Department of Public Safety (DSP, in Spanish) and the 9-1-1 Emergency Systems Bureau (NSE, in Spanish) signed an interagency collaboration agreement with the goal of identifying emergencies and promptly restoring the telecommunications infrastructure after a catastrophic or atmospheric event.

The agreement will allow the NET to have access to information on the volume of calls received at the 9-1-1 service before, during and after an emergency, as well as the data of specific areas.

This information will be sent to the NET in the shortest possible time or within a period of 24 hours from the request, government officials said.

“Telecommunications are an essential service to keep citizens in touch and this is more necessary in an emergency,” said the Interim President of NET, Zaida Cordero-López

“With this collaboration agreement, it will be possible to identify communities or areas where the telecommunications infrastructure has collapsed, while it will allow directing and optimizing resources where they are needed,” said Cordero.

The participating agencies will work together to ensure compliance with the current statutes that establish telecommunications as an essential service.

“Hurricane María taught us the importance of telecommunications and the need to be able to deal with any situation that affects the service quickly and accurately,” said DSP Secretary of Alexis Torres.

NET is responsible for coordinating efforts so that, in the event of an emergency, telecommunications are urgently restored.

By federal mandate, the NET also belongs to the “Emergency Support Function 2” (ESF2) hierarchy within the coordination structure for a state and federal response to an incident.

Author Details
Author Details
Yamilet Aponte-Claudio was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Providencia and is currently a junior at Sacred Heart University. Majoring in Journalism and adding a minor in sustainable development and foreign languages, she aspires to study law after obtaining her bachelor’s degree.

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