Posts Categorised: Puerto Rico

The FCC chair has proposed $954M to help fix comms networks there, but critics aren’t happy with his efforts

SAN JUAN — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has answered a question that broadcasters likely had on their mind. Unfortunately, the answer is “no.”

On Tuesday, Pai had “proposed to direct $954 million toward restoring and expanding communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands” in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season. The initiatives are dubbed the “Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund” (Bringing Puerto Rico Together Fund) and “Connect USVI Fund Would Improve Connectivity for Residents “

The chairman’s trip to Puerto Rico and the proposal were not entirely well received. One particularly critical article came from the Register: “April Fool: FCC finally bothers with Puerto Rico as chairman visits .” Yikes.

On Thursday, Pai tweeted a photo of a San Juan sunrise with a seemingly innocuous caption detailing his itinerary — and got more than he bargained for.

Things got interesting when Juan Carlos Pedreira — a tech reporter for Univision in Miami who also has a J.D. — tweeted a question in reply:

Pai answered:

The internet, apparently, was not pleased by this response. A flurry of GIFs, sarcastic comments and other, more aggressive, replies followed.

This was not Pai’s first foray into the world of controversy. The chairman is active on social media, and Twitter has been a favorite platform for citizens to air their grievances over Pai’s position on Net Neutrality and other issues.

Pai leaves the island Friday and travels to the US Virgin Islands. 

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Ajit Pai will visit islands to review recovery efforts

WASHINGTON — In a few weeks, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will head south to review the status of communications restoration efforts after the 2017 hurricane season, the commission announced.

From March 7–10, Pai will visit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands along with members of the commission’s Hurricane Recovery Task Force. During this follow up to his November trip, they will meet with meet with leaders and service providers, according to the announcement.

[Read more: “Pai Visits Puerto Rico “]

“The FCC remains committed to supporting recovery efforts and helping to restore, and in some cases rebuild, communications networks as quickly as possible,” Pai said in the press release announcing his trip. “I look forward to leading a team to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to get a firsthand assessment of the situation on the ground. It’s important to learn what has worked well and what could be done better — and to apply those lessons to future storms.”

The announcement also chronicled what the FCC has done to help support broadcasters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They have:

  • advanced nearly $77 million in universal service funding
  • accelerated the post-incentive auction transition
  • granted temporary waivers of Lifeline’s recertification rules
  • expedited approval of an experimental license for Alphabet’s Project Loon
  • 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 to help reestablish communications

[Read more: “FCC Approves Project Loon’s Expansion Over Puerto Rico “]

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