Puerto Rico’s telco infrastructure severely damaged

Hurricane Maria largely damaged Puerto Rico’s telco infrastructure in September 2017 leaving more than 90 % of Puerto Rico’s cell towers offline. The Puerto Rico’s telco regulator (Junta Reglamentadora de Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico), has announced only 43.3 % of telecommunication services were re-established by October 4. Local mobile carriers have agreed on opening their networks and signal sharing. International community and big Internet companies offered their help too. The NetHope’s Emergency Response team has been helping with connectivity restoration works in the Caribbean region since Hurricane Irma made landfall. Facebook sent its connectivity team and the Project Loon, the initiative of Alphabet, is exploring possibilities to bring emergency connectivity to Puerto Rico. For many Puerto Ricans the mobile connection can be the only option how to access the Internet due to the degree of damage on electrical grid and other networks.