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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Internet for all program under way

By The Star Staff

The executive director of the Smart Island program, Michelle Cabiya Zorrilla announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) approved the plan presented by the Puerto Rico Broadband Program (PRBP), of the Office of Management and Budget (OGP) for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) fund program.

“We are very excited to receive this approval as it allows us to start implementing the projects by having access to much-needed funds to improve high-speed internet infrastructure. This is undoubtedly achieved thanks to the diligence and planning that we have managed to direct from our program,” said the executive director of the Smart Island program, Michelle Cabiya Zorrilla in written statements.

With the approval of volume 2 of the 5-year Action Plan presented by the Smart Island program, the Government of Puerto Rico will have access to $334.6 million to improve high-speed Internet networks and ensure that all citizens have access to reliable, accessible, and high-speed Internet service.

“Puerto Rico can move its Internet para Todos efforts from planning to action. I thank Puerto Rico’s Broadband program for developing a robust proposal for how they will connect all of their residents to high-speed internet service,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson.

The BEAD program, established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative and provides funding to states and territories to build high-speed internet infrastructure where needed, allows for aid to provide needed equipment, and galvanizes local partnerships so that everyone can be connected on the network.

It also prioritizes unattended locations that don’t have internet access or only have access to less than 25/3 Mbps and unattended locations only have access to less than 100/20 Mbps.

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