FCC Chair Plans Travel to Puerto Rico and USVI

Ajit Pai will visit islands to review recovery efforts
By Emily M. Reigart,

In a few weeks, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will head south to review the status of communications restoration efforts after the 2017 hurricane season, the commission announced.

From March 7–10, Pai will visit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands along with members of the commission’s Hurricane Recovery Task Force. During this follow up to his November trip, they will meet with meet with leaders and service providers, according to the announcement.

[Read more: "Pai Visits Puerto Rico, Comments on Recovery Efforts"]

“The FCC remains committed to supporting recovery efforts and helping to restore, and in some cases rebuild, communications networks as quickly as possible,” Pai said in the press release announcing his trip. “I look forward to leading a team to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to get a firsthand assessment of the situation on the ground. It’s important to learn what has worked well and what could be done better — and to apply those lessons to future storms.”

The announcement also chronicled what the FCC has done to help support broadcasters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They have:

  • advanced nearly $77 million in universal service funding
  • accelerated the post-incentive auction transition
  • granted temporary waivers of Lifeline’s recertification rules
  • expedited approval of an experimental license for Alphabet’s Project Loon
  • approved targeted and flexible E-Rate support to help restore connectivity of schools and libraries
  • and granted more than 500 waivers and requests for Special Temporary Authority to help reestablish communications