Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing a nearly $1 billion package to rebuild and expand broadband networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by last year’s hurricanes.
“The people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still recovering from last year’s devastating storms,” Pai said in a statement. “That means the FCC’s work is far from over.”
The proposal would allocate $64 million immediately to efforts to restore the existing networks in the territories. The rest of the $954 million would go toward medium- and long-term projects to expand mobile and fixed broadband networks.
About $256 million would come in new funds, while the rest would be reallocated from existing funds supporting Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Pai said he plans to visit the two territories this week to inspect recovery efforts.
He urged the rest of commission to support the proposal.
“With the 2018 hurricane season less than three months away, we need to take bold and decisive action,” he said.