The first project under “VíaDIGITAL,” a joint initiative between the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP) and the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board was inaugurated Tuesday, through the installation of installation of high-speed fiber optic infrastructure that will benefit consumers, businesses and residences in Miramar, Santurce and parts of Río Piedras.
VíaDIGITAL opens for deployment of advanced broadband infrastructure some 55,000 linear feet of unused underground ducts along Fernández Juncos, Muñoz Rivera and Ponce de Leon Avenues. Its extension from Miramar and Santurce to the area of Río Piedras, is an additional boost to the already vibrant corridor of cultural, creative, financial and educational activity, government officials said during a ceremony in Santurce.
By maximizing existing underground easements, VíaDIGITAL prevents the excavation or construction of trenches in roadways. This feature makes the project a true sustainable development approach by saving proponents substantial costs in time, construction and repair, promotes investment in infrastructure for the information economy of the future, without affecting in any way the environment in the area, government officials further noted.
The best urban practices of this type are described as “dig-once policies,” or dig once and coordinate multiple wiring deployments. In this case, Puerto Rico has transcended this standard, creating a new one: “dig-zero.”
“VíaDIGITAL is a project that represents the ‘PAIS Banda Ancha’ institutional platform we designed at the Board,” said agency President Javier Rúa-Jovet. “This project allows us to advance the P for Planning and the A for Access, infusing vitality and new development opportunities to the regions that will benefit from high-speed internet and broadband services, including creative industries, academia, banking and trade, strengthening the infrastructure that will support further economic development.”
Liberty Puerto Rico will become the first provider to take part in the VíaDIGITAL project, company President Naji Khoury confirmed Tuesday.
“We’re very proud to have been selected as the provider for the VíaDIGITAL project. This is a good example of how the private sector and government can work together to bring progress to Puerto Ricans,” said Khoury. “Through this partnership we can expand broadband service to more businesses and homes in the areas of Río Piedras, Hato Rey and Santurce.”
Last year, the Board and DTOP signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make available access to and use of duct space to interested and qualified entities, “to encourage the construction and development of telecommunications networks using fiber optic technology as the primary means for the deployment of broadband services,” DTOP Secretary Miguel Torres-Díaz said.
VíaDIGITAL is open to all operators and/or telecommunication service, cable television and Internet access providers.