FCC Chairman Ajit Pai just got a first-hand look at the slow recovery facing Puerto Rico up-close and in person.
Pai arrived Sunday and met with government and industry officials to assess the status of recovery efforts and consult on next steps that the FCC should take to assist in the restoration of communications networks.
“The FCC is committed to supporting recovery efforts and doing everything we can to help restore communications networks as quickly as possible,” said Chairman Pai. “I look forward to going to Puerto Rico to assess the situation on the ground and meet with government and industry officials about the path forward.”
Since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the FCC has been actively engaged in assisting with recovery efforts, including by providing approximately $77 million in advanced universal service funding to restore communications service and rebuild damaged communications networks.
Even so, some 53.6% of all cell towers as of Nov. 2 remain out of service in Puerto Rico
Only in the condados of Aguada, Bayamón, Caguas, Camuy, Carolina, Catano, Dorado, Guayanilla, Guaynabo, Hatillo, Lajas, Maricao, Ponce, San Germán, San Juan, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Vega Baja and Yauco are less than half of all cell towers non-operational.
Meanwhile, Univision noted during its Q3 earnings call with investors on Thursday that it suffered a $10 million loss from the cessation of broadcasts for its TV station in Puerto Rico.
While Puerto Rico has seen massive power restoration struggles over nearly 45 days since Hurricane Maria brought widespread havoc to the U.S. commonwealth, the U.S. Virgin Islands — just to the east — have hardly fared better.
Pai’s trip concluded Monday afternoon.