Puerto Rico

From Digital Equity Plan Initial Draft released September 2023:

The vision of the Puerto Rico Broadband Program is to:
Ensure all Puerto Ricans, regardless of their background or location, have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to thrive in the digital world and fully participate in modern society.

This vision drives Puerto Rico Broadband Program's (PRBP) work across all its initiatives—from digital equity and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program  to its many other programs. The
PRBP is working to advance its vision through a focus on four pillars. These pillars were designed to address both deployment and equity issues, offering a wholistic approach to connecting ALL Puerto Ricans.

  1. Connectivity to resilient infrastructure
  2. Quality and speed for demanding use
  3. Accessibility at an affordable price
  4. Knowledge of available technology and digital tools

These four pillars guide PRBP's Digital Equity Plan and the BEAD Five-Year Action Plan. The connectivity and quality pillars are necessary conditions for digital equity and are addressed in the Five-Year Action Plan. PRBP’s accessibility and knowledge pillars are the special focus of this Digital Equity initiative. Through integrated, collaborative efforts, data-driven decision-making, community engagement, and trusted agency partners and stakeholder participation, Puerto Rico will realize the promise of its vision.

Puerto Rico is behind the rest of the United States in accessibility to (and adoption of) broadband internet and internet-enabled devices at an affordable price. Compounding these issues is the reality of persistent poverty, low levels of education, and 99% of Puerto Rico’s residents falling under the designation “covered population.” This designation refers to individuals with disabilities, aging, those who have English as a language barrier, those who have low literacy levels, veterans, incarcerated, minorities, and residents who live in rural areas.1 Puerto Rico benefits from the diversity of its people and the strengths they bring to the island and PRBP will harness the island’s human capital, organizational partners and key stakeholders and resources to close the digital divide.