Issue: 14 years ago Puerto Rico was given a mandated funding order by Congress to go towards improving/developing the infrastructure of phone lines in rural areas of Puerto Rico. Without this infrastructure, poorer people who live in these areas (more than 200,000 of them) have little or no access to any kind of telephone communication or broadband and internet access. In today’s technologically advanced age, access to these technologies are incredibly important for communication, job searches, information research, and even business development. 99.7% of businesses today are small businesses and small businesses employ almost 50% of the population. For the small businesses of Puerto Rico to compete, innovate, grow, and EMPLOY, it is imperative that they have access to at least a phone line. To this day, those monies, which WERE MANDATED BY LAW, have not been received by Puerto Rico.
UPDATE: This week The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce met with members of Congress in order to persuade them to place pressure on the FCC to live up to their mandate and provide the funding to Puerto Rico that was promised. Four Puerto Rican Congressmen are on board with this push, however, Puerto Rican legislators from the island have not ramped up their pressure on the resident commissioner (Puerto Rico’s representative in Congress) to lead the charge. Currently, the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC) and MMTC are working diligently to see to it that Puerto Rico gets the funding they were promised and so desperately need.