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by Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

January 17th, 2011 could be a big day for the island of Puerto Rico.  That day is the anticipated start date of the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative (PRBI), which will set up a fiber optic “bridge” network from Florida to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  The project was funded by the Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill) at a cost of $25.7 million through the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  Critical Hub, the company awarded the contract, contributed another $6.8 million to the project.

The goal is to fund fast and affordable broadband to the island.  A secondary goal of the project is to provide Puerto Rico with a “stimulus” to their economy in the information technology sector.  The island ranks last in the United States for broadband penetration and use, and the statistics found on the issue show less than 40% subscription rates.  Additionally, the current broadband infrastructure on the island is much slower (78%) and more expensive (60%) than elsewhere in the US.  This project should boost the economic potential for Puerto Rico, given that it will allow for greater job creation, allow for more educational and e-learning opportunities, and raise the islands competitiveness for attracting more firms. Read the rest of this entry »


By Jorge Bauermeister – November 11, 2010

Haga clic aquí para recibir una copia electrónica de este artículo en español.

A newly released U.S. Department of Commerce study entitled Exploring the Digital Nation: Home Broadband Internet Adoption in the United States finds that while broadband adoption is growing dramatically, disparities exist among low-income and minority households. According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Economics and Statistics Administration, both of which contributed to the development of the study, states in the Northeast and West have greater broadband connectivity than states in the South and Midwest.  This assessment was determined through the study’s broad survey of about 54,000 U.S. households. Read the rest of this entry »

as posted at

“Beyond the dollars that can be saved with an Internet connection, being online brings unquantifiable advantages like access to education, job opportunities, social networking and on-demand information,” said Bruce Mehlman, IIA co-chairman. “Congress and the FCC should focus their efforts on policies that encourage investment in more robust networks and policies that expand digital literacy to those offline, rather than aggressive regulatory detours that discourage investment.”

10 ways being online saves you money

Read the rest of this entry »

Tomorrow at 1pm, The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce will be attending a press conference commending the release of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators’ whitepaper entitled:

Broadband Opportunities and the Hispanic Community: Solutions for Expanding Broadband Access

As described by the Immigrants in USA Blog:

The policy paper is a product of NHCSL’s Broadband En Acción taskforce, which is composed of Hispanic State Legislators from across the country. The paper offers a proposed broadband regulatory framework and calls for policies that promote investment, access and digital training among the Latino community who, despite being large users of mobile technology, continue to lag behind other Americans in adopting wireline broadband and in building digital literacy skills.

In the coming days we will analyze their assessment and continue our conversation on Broadband’s potential impact for Puerto Rico and the American Entrepreneur.

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