The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has released an Order approving the allocation of $950 million, through a competitive process, to expand and deploy 4G LTE and 5G broadband networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This funding serves as a long-term solution to the already provided $130 million, in Universal Service Fund support, to restore the networks in these areas, as a result of Hurricane Irma and Maria.
According to a news release, the Commission will allocate $500 million, over ten years, for fixed networks and $250 million, over three years, for mobile networks in Puerto Rico. The FCC will also allocate $180 million, over ten years, for fixed networks and $4 million, over three years, for mobile networks in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Service providers will bid for every location in a covered area, subject to minimum standards, and support for mobile services will be granted to providers that offered mobile service prior to the hurricane damage.