Viya Applauds FCC Chairman Pai’s Proposal to Direct $204 Million to USVI for Telecoms Restoration and Long-Term Expansion and Improvement
St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix USVI – March 10, 2018
Viya, the largest telecommunications provider in the U.S. Virgin Islands, applauds Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai for proposing to create a $204M Connect USVI Fund to aid in the restoration, hardening and expansion of wireline and wireless communications networks in the Territory. The U.S. Virgin Islands’ communications networks were badly damaged by two historic hurricanes, Irma and Maria, which ravaged the islands in September 2017.
If approved by the FCC, this funding will play an essential role in assisting Viya and other carriers with the massive and on-going restoration efforts in the Territory. Importantly, It will also support longer term goals that Viya shares with the Commission, such as expanding broadband access throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Viya Chief Executive Officer Alvaro Pilar stated, “On behalf of Viya, and more importantly the people of the Virgin Islands, I would like to extend our appreciation to Chairman Pai for developing a bold and creative funding solution. We’re hopeful that the FCC will quickly approve this plan, which will play a critical role in both the immediate restoration of communications and the long-term redevelopment of our community. The restoration of communications in the Virgin Islands is a daunting task, especially for a private company like Viya that is not eligible for the federal assistance that other public utilities have received to date. The FCC’s Connect USVI Fund will enable us to accelerate our restoration efforts, harden our networks against future hurricanes, and continue to expand access to broadband services in the Territory.”
Pilar met with Chairman Pai during his visit to tour hurricane damage and restoration efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This was Chairman Pai’s second visit to the region since the devastating storms. Pilar concluded, “Beginning immediately after the hurricanes, Chairman Pai and the entire FCC staff showed resolute leadership and took decisive action offering prompt and practical solutions as well as regulatory flexibility. Viya is very grateful to Chairman Pai and his colleagues for proposing these critical funds, which will do more than merely restore and improve communications. These funds will improve access to communications in the future and improve our precious US Virgin Islands.”
The Connect USVI Fund is part of a larger $954 million restoration proposal by Chairman Pai that also includes the establishment of a $750M Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund to aid in that territory’s network restoration and hardening efforts. These funds are the latest in a line of FCC funding and regulatory initiatives aimed at assisting carriers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico with the restoration of their networks and resumption of normal operations.Posted on