The FCC is making good on its strategies to additionally support broadband in Puerto Rico. Representatives have voted in support of an extra $950 Million to “expand, improve, and harden” communications in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. More than $500 Million of this will be used in Puerto Rico for fixed broadband over the coming decade, while almost $250 Million will be used for mobile data incoming 3 Years. The Virgin Islands will get $180 Million in a decade for fixed broadband, with an extra $4 Million locked for mobile.
Irrespective of the area, the awards will work in the same manners. The FCC will distribute fixed Internet support via a bidding procedure that will have suppliers win funding on the basis of performance, cost per location, and the strength of the network. People might get “almost 1 Gigabit” speeds. In the meantime, funding for mobile will go to current suppliers in these regions to roll out 5G and boost their LTE networks.
The aim has changed this time around. Where initial support was intended for Hurricanes Maria’s and Irma’s recovery, this is about making networks that will “endure for a long time.” They must better level up with mainland service and better withstand natural calamities. There was no outright disagreement in the vote, but there are issues that this is not the most effectual plan.
On a related note, the Ajit Pai-led FCC has been resolute to crack down on Lifeline project mistreatment from the beginning, and now it is leveling some specifically grave accusations. Regulators have blamed Sprint of getting monthly subsidies in the low-revenue communications project for 885,000 users that were not employing it. That shows just shy of 30% of Lifeline customers by Sprint, almost 10% of the entire Lifeline base, and millions of dollars in wasted financial support, the FCC claimed.