9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

FCC Approves Additional $64 Million In Immediate Funding To Restore Communications Networks In USVI, Puerto Rico

Breaking News / Business / Featured / Hurricane Season / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / May 29, 2018

The Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) said on Tuesday that it has approved additional immediate funding to accelerate the restoration of communications networks in U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico that were damaged and destroyed during the 2017 hurricane season.

According to the release, the FCC is also seeking comment on injecting almost $900 million in medium- and long-term funding into expanding and improving broadband access on the islands.  To accomplish these goals, the commission said it has created the “Uniendo”, a Puerto Rico Fund (Bringing Puerto Rico Together Fund) and the “Connect USVI Fund”.

“The commission’s action today will not only help complete the recovery from last year’s devastating storms, but seeks comment on much-needed funding for long-term improvement and expansion of broadband throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “During my visits to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, I saw that it was critical for the F.C.C. to not only address today’s urgent needs, but to look ahead to support the broadband networks the islands need to thrive in the 21st Century.”

The Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking includes:

  • An immediate infusion of approximately $64 million in additional funding for short-term restoration efforts.
  • Conversion of $65.8 million in advanced funding the Commission provided last year to carriers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands into new funding by declining to recover that advanced funding from future universal service support payments.
  • Solicitation of public comment on a proposal to allocate over the next decade for the expansion of fixed broadband connectivity approximately $444.5 million in funding for Puerto Rico and $186.5 million for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Solicitation of public comment on a proposal to allocate approximately $259 million in medium-term funding for the expansion of 4G LTE mobile broadband connectivity in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To expedite buildout, opportunities for the first stage of funding are open to all facilities-based providers in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands of voice and broadband service, subject to receiving an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation, according to the release. To participate, providers must certify their eligibility no later than 14 days after publication of the Order in the Federal Register.

Mr. Pai has visited Puerto Rico twice since the hurricane hit last year, traveling to Puerto Rico initially last November.  He also visited Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from March 7-10, where he led a team to review recovery efforts, evaluate lessons learned from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

The F.C.C. said it has taken numerous actions to promote public safety and connectivity in the aftermath of last year’s hurricanes.  In addition to providing public information on network outage conditions and sending staff to monitor and aid recovery efforts, the commission said it offered the territories nearly $77 million in advanced universal service funding to help recovery, accelerated the post-incentive auction transition to support Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands broadcasters, granted temporary waivers of Lifeline’s recertification rules, expedited approval of experimental licenses for Alphabet’s Project Loon to provide Internet access to residents, approved targeted and flexible E-Rate support to help restore connectivity of schools and libraries, and granted more than 500 waivers and requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to help re-establish communications in hurricane-affected areas.

Tags: ,

Staff Consortium

Previous Post

Mapp Orders Territory's Flags At Half-Staff For Passing Of Helen Sebastien Gabriel

Next Post

A VI Picnic In Atlanta Draws Thousands. What Does It Say About The Territory's Economic State?

You might also like

Leave a Reply

More Story

Mapp Orders Territory's Flags At Half-Staff For Passing Of Helen Sebastien Gabriel

The Territory has lost a dedicated public servant and twirling pioneer with the passing of Helen Sebastien Gabriel, Governor...

May 29, 2018