Liberty Global is partnering with the government of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board on a mobile WiFi Tour providing free Internet to communities throughout Puerto Rico most severely impacted by Hurricane Maria.
Liberty Global operates two telecoms businesses in the Caribbean region, LCPR and Cable & Wireless Communications, whose business covers over 20 countries.
In addition to a WiFi connection, those present can receive medical attention, help to fill out their federal aid applications and hot meals. To date, more than 800 people have been cared for by personnel from the School of Medical Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico, while personnel for the Puerto Rico senate and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have helped complete more than 1,800 federal aid applications.
During the tour there have also been over 10,000 hot meals served by Chefs for Puerto Rico, an initiative created by renowned Spanish chef José Andrés.
Mike Fries, Liberty Global CEO, commented: “Liberty Global’s free WiFi Tour represents our steadfast commitment to aiding the people of Puerto Rico at their greatest time of need with services that have an immediate impact. I can attest first-hand to the bravery of Puerto Ricans, and to the fierce determination of our Liberty employees in helping restore services to our customers.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board, the Government of Puerto Rico and our collaborating partners for coming together to bring this private enterprise and public agency partnership to life.”
Led by the Company’s Liberty Cablevision Puerto Rico operation, the free WiFi Tour features three mobile units specifically designed for first aid communications after a natural disaster.
The mobile units are equipped with satellite antennas that provide Internet to the municipalities which the PRTRB determined have the greatest telecommunications needs.
The three mobile WiFi vehicles are leading a caravan of locally provided goodwill and services such as FEMA, banking, insurance, food, water, medical supplies and doctors to 29 remote towns that do not currently have internet connectivity.
Kymeta, a company Liberty Global has previously invested in through its investment fund Liberty Global Ventures, supplied the satellite antennas while Intelsat, a leading provider of satellite-based data solutions, is delivering the Internet connectivity.
Kymeta offers the world’s only commercially-viable electronically-scanning satellite antennas and terrminals. Intelsat is providing high-throughput bandwidth from its Intelsat EpicNG nextgeneration satellites and services, including hubs and links, from the award-winning IntelsatOne Flex platform.
The WiFi Tour is the latest of several substantive steps that Liberty Global has taken to deliver humanitarian aid to the Caribbean region in response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
Liberty Global has committed $1 million of funding to the Liberty Foundation in Puerto Rico and the Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation, which were established to assist victims of the hurricanes.
Including this funding, a total of more than $1.8 million has been raised, with donations also coming from employees and industry partners. In addition, Liberty Global has airlifted 2 and shipped emergency supplies, including water, food, personal care items, power generators and solar lightbulbs.