The FCC Wants Nearly $1 Billion to Help Aid Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

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With Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands continuing their work to restore power and networks following last year's hurricanes, the Federal Communications Commission proposed on Tuesday a package of nearly $1 billion to allocate toward restoring existing networks and expanding access through additional long-term projects in the areas, the Hill reports.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed the package, which allocates $64 million to immediate rebuilding efforts to restore existing communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FCC plans to invest the remaining funds in medium- and long-term projects for greater mobile and broadband network access in the territories.

"The people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still recovering from last year's devastating storms," Pai said in a statement. "With the 2018 hurricane season less than three months away, we need to take a bold and decisive action." According to the Hill, Pai emphasized the work the FCC has left to help restore network access in the territories.

According to Reuters, 75 percent of cell sites in the U.S. Virgin Islands and 95 percent of cell sites in Puerto Rico were out of service in September following the hurricanes.