Blog // Connect Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Addresses the Digital Divide

By CPR Staff

The First of 12 New Public Computing Centers Comes Online

By Wil Payton, Communications Specialist, Connected Nation

High-speed Internet connectivity is a modern lifeline to quality jobs, information, and vital services ranging from telemedicine to telelearning and technological modernization. However, the Connect Puerto Rico Residential Technology Assessment Survey findings indicate that only 31% of Puerto Rican households subscribe to home broadband service compared to 67% nationally.

In Puerto Rico, 55% of residents own a computer, which translates into over 1 million adults without a home computer. This is a reality that is being addressed through a $1 million of funding allocated by the Telecommunications Regulatory Board to establish public computing centers (PCCs) across the island. $250,000 of this funding will be dedicated to providing free Wi-Fi in public plazas.

The first PCC was recently opened in el Castillo Labadie. The center received $32,580 and was outfitted with 10 computers for use by community residents. Present at the inauguration of the PCC were Governor Luis Fortuno, Moca Mayor Jose Enrique Aviles, and Telecommunications Regulatory Board President Sandra Torres.

Current plans call for opening an additional 11 PCCs across Puerto Rico within the next three months. 

Developing a sustainable broadband infrastructure is a pivotal factor in addressing the digital divide equation, but another critical component is whether businesses and individuals fully utilize the technology to grow and develop local economies.

A study by Connect Puerto Rico establishes a link between high-speed Internet use and a business’s bottom line. The Connect Puerto Rico Business Technology Assessment provides groundbreaking research derived from the survey of over 800 Puerto Rico business establishments.

The survey is the first of its kind and takes an in-depth look at all sectors of the territory’s economy. The new interactive application is available on the Connect Puerto Rico website and allows you to see the impact on specific sectors of the Commonwealth’s economy, from healthcare and manufacturing, to tourism and education.



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