CAF Phase I Waiver Granted to Puerto Rico Telephone Company for Hurricane Recovery

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The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has released a Declaratory Ruling and Order granting a limited waiver to Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc. (PRTC) of the FCC’s rules such that no Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase I support would be recovered from PRTC relating to its CAF Phase I locations within a year of PRTC’s buildout incremental support deadlines.  Though the Bureau denied PRTC’s request to apply to CAF Phase I a CAF Phase II rule providing a one-year buildout grace period and framework, the Bureau on its own motion instead granted a different limited waiver to PRTC in light of the devastation of the telecommunications infrastructure in Puerto Rico cause by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  The Bureaus indicate that allowing PRTC to retain CAF funds will enable it to restore and expand its network to the benefit of Puerto Rico’s residents.

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