WASHINGTON - – The- chairman of the U.S. telecoms regulator on Tues. proposed making out there as much as $77 million to fund repairs of communication networks & restore services in storm-lashed Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As of Mon. – virtually two weeks after Hurricane Maria walloped Puerto Rico, knocking out its electrical grid – nearly 90 % of cellphone sites on the island remained out of service, in accordance to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Virtually 70 % of cell towers remained out within the U.S. Virgin Islands, with little progress remodeled the last week.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai stated on Tues. in that he wants carriers to be advanced cash from the U.S. governmentâ€™s Universal Service Fund â€œto expedite repair & restoration efforts.â€�
The fund provides federal subsidies to corporations to make communications services more accessible & reasonably priced in places where the value is high.
Pai stated he wants the FCC to approve giving carriers â€œup to seven many months of their normal federal support in advance – immediately, in a lump sum – to assist them repair their networks & restore service to shoppers.â€�
The FCCâ€™s five-member board just isn’t as a consequence of meet to think about the chairmanâ€™s proposal until Oct. 24, though it might meet earlier if all of the commissioners agree.
In a press release, network supplier AT&T Inc (T.N) praised the FCC efforts at rebuilding communications infrastructure.
The company will â€œclosely assess the little print of the chairmanâ€™s proposal as we continue with the recovery & restoration of our network & facilities,â€� it stated.
Wi-fi corporations have been establishing temporary cell sites & bringing in equipment still nonetheless face hurdles with widespread power outages.
Much of the landline network was additionally badly broken.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama & Rosalba O’Brien