Thursday, February 19, 2015

Broadband Taskforce sets ambitious goals

The Gigabit Island Plan, which identifies a strategy for the expansion of high-speed broadband networks across Puerto Rico, was released yesterday. The Plan has set goals of 99% of households having access to 10 Mbps download speeds and 70% of households having access to 1 Gbps download speeds by 2020.

The Gigabit Island Plan is the work of the Puerto Rico Broadband Taskforce (PRBT), a non-partisan, public-private partnership created to help close the digital divide across Puerto Rico. The Gigabit Island Plan evaluates the state of broadband in Puerto Rico over the last five years and examines strategies to accelerate broadband network expansion as well as household adoption and use across the island. The plan builds upon the Broadband Strategic Plan created by the PRBT in 2012. While multiple communities across the U.S. and elsewhere are rolling out plans for gigabit connectivity, the Gigabit Island Plan sets ambitious, island-wide connectivity goals and is the first of its kind among American states and territories rolling out gigabit broadband initiatives.

"Our plan sets out 25 strategic goals to improve focus, adoption, and use of broadband in Puerto Rico which will strengthen the economy, improve access to health, and promote education through technology," said Giancarlo González, Puerto Rico's chief information officer. "Puerto Rico has taken a significant step forward and increased its broadband penetration since the development of the first plan in 2012. The digital corridor in Santurce and the ZUM Project of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority are good examples of our vision for the near future."

The Gigabit Island Plan includes several recommendations to achieve these essential broadband speeds over the next five years:

  • Continue and expand island-wide broadband mapping.
  • Monitor, measure, and assess the impact of broadband across the Puerto Rico economy.
  • Lower the costs of broadband build-out through community and provider collaboration.
  • Promote public-private partnerships to stimulate local demand and expand market opportunities.
  • Leverage federal support for broadband expansion.
  • Stimulate broadband adoption to encourage further investment.
"Connect Puerto Rico applauds the hard work of the Puerto Rico Broadband Taskforce and their foresight to make gigabit connectivity a priority for the island," said Tom Ferree, Connected Nation president and COO. "Puerto Rico is positioning itself as a technology leader committed to connecting the island to faster, more high-capacity networks and the important socio-economic benefits that follow."

This plan is the second broadband plan created by the Puerto Rico Broadband Taskforce. Read the 2012 Puerto Rico Broadband Strategic Plan.


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