In the wake of the devastating Category 5 storm Hurricane Maria, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has agreed to make up to USD76.9 million immediately available for the restoration of communications networks in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. As such, eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) operating in the two territories are permitted to opt for a single advance payment of up to seven months of high-cost support to assist with their immediate needs and anticipated large repair costs in restoring their communications networks.
As of 4 October 86.3% of Puerto Rican cell sites were out of service, and all counties in Puerto Rico, except Bayamon, Guaynabo, San Juan, and Toa Baja have more than 75% of their cell sites out of service. Further, 27 of the 78 counties have 100% of their cell sites out of service. In the USVI meanwhile, 66.0% of cell sites are out of service, with 100% of cell sites on the island of St John inactive.