Pai Proposes Use of USF Funds for Recovery in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON—As broadcasters and communication services are still deep in the recovery process in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has issued a new proposal with the goal of helping carriers to rebuilt their networks more quickly. The new proposal would allow carriers to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to access their Universal Service Fund allocations.

According to Pai, in a statement released by the FCC, access to USF would make as much as $76.9 million available to repair wireline and wireless communication networks and restore communication services. The option to receive USF funding in advance is also provided through this proposal, allowing carriers to receive seven months of funding immediately rather than the standard monthly payment, to expedite repair and restoration efforts.

Pai urges his Commissioners to approve this proposal as soon as possible. If the proposal is not accepted by the FCC’s Oct. 24 meeting, Pai says that they will vote on it then.