Gigabit plan officially launched; 25 Optico fiberhoods open

Flag of Puerto Rico

Flag of Puerto Rico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, has announced the official launch of the ‘Gigabit Island’ plan, with the goal that in five years 99% of households will have access to download speeds of at least 10Mbps, while 1Gbps services should be accessible in 70% of homes within the same timeframe. As reported by Telesemana, the Gigabit programme is guided by the public-private Puerto Rico Broadband Taskforce (PRBT) under a remit to continue the work accomplished by Puerto Rico’s Strategic Plan for Broadband (2012), and the current strategy recommends a number of actions to promote the development of broadband, including: continuing geographical broadband expansion; beginning work on monitoring, measurement and evaluation of the impact of broadband on the economy; lowering costs of building broadband systems; ensuring access to poles, ducts and other public and private sites for the deployment of infrastructure; and promoting public-private partnerships to stimulate local demand. According to the executive summary of the Gigabit Island plan, by June 2014 around 77.8% of households were covered by broadband access networks with speeds of at least 10Mbps (download)/1.5Mbps (upstream), while an estimated 52.9% of households had the possibility of connecting at 100Mbps (download). Additionally, the report notes that 99.9% of households in the country had mobile broadband coverage with speeds of ‘up to 3Mbps downstream and 768kbps upload’.

Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the US – the top-level regulator for the broadband sector in Puerto Rico – last month set a new ‘benchmark’ minimum broadband speed of 25Mbps (downlink) and 3Mbps (uplink). Ongoing public-private broadband initiatives in Puerto Rico include the incumbent telco Claro’s rural broadband initiative, which is part-funded by the FCC.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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