Locast, the nonprofit local broadcast TV streaming service, plans to stream dozens of local TV channels via the internet across Puerto Rico this year, bringing important local news, weather and storm coverage, emergency information, sports, and entertainment programming to internet-connected devices.
The announcement was made ahead of today’s hearing about resilient communications to be held by Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan.
The announcement was also made on the heels of a recent congressional delegation comprised of House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to survey infrastructure damage in Puerto Rico from recent earthquakes and to receive briefings on recovery efforts.
“Given that Puerto Rico has recently faced life-shattering earthquakes and hurricanes, we wholeheartedly support serious discussions about how to ensure communication networks are always available, especially for public safety,” said Locast Founder David Goodfriend.
“Locast can help solve this problem by delivering local TV channels via the internet to phones, tablets, computers, and media players, even when other types of communications infrastructure are damaged,” he said.
“As long as local TV stations are broadcasting, Locast can become a lifeline to the 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico during emergency response and disaster relief efforts,” Goodfriend said.
A launch date for Locast delivery of local TV channels in Puerto Rico is expected in the coming months.
Once launched, viewers in the Puerto Rico Designated Market Area using internet-connected devices can watch, for free, their locally produced broadcast TV in high definition via the Locast app or at www.locast.org.
“The launch of Locast in Puerto Rico is an important step toward ensuring emergency information from local TV stations is available via internet-connected computers, media players, phones, tablets,” executives said.
Locast provides a public service in 17 U.S. cities, reaching more than 41 million viewers.