Pai Says Puerto Rico Fund Will Not Benefit Broadcasters

The FCC chair has proposed $954M to help fix comms networks there, but critics aren't happy with his efforts
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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has answered a question that broadcasters likely had on their mind. Unfortunately, the answer is "no."

On Tuesday, Pai had "proposed to direct $954 million toward restoring and expanding communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands" in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season. The initiatives are dubbed the "Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund" (Bringing Puerto Rico Together Fund) and "Connect USVI Fund Would Improve Connectivity for Residents "

The chairman's trip to Puerto Rico and the proposal were not entirely well received. One particularly critical article came from the Register: "April Fool: FCC finally bothers with Puerto Rico as chairman visits." Yikes.

On Thursday, Pai tweeted a photo of a San Juan sunrise with a seemingly innocuous caption detailing his itinerary — and got more than he bargained for.

Things got interesting when Juan Carlos Pedreira — a tech reporter for Univision in Miami who also has a J.D. — tweeted a question in reply: 

Pai answered:

[Related: "FCC Chair Plans Travel to Puerto Rico, USVI" ]

The internet, apparently, was not pleased by this response. A flurry of GIFs, sarcastic comments and other, more aggressive, replies followed. 

This was not Pai's first foray into the world of controversy. The chairman is active on social media, and Twitter has been a favorite platform for citizens to air their grievances over Pai's position on Net Neutrality and other issues. 

Pai leaves the island Friday and travels to the US Virgin Islands.

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