San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 9, 2011 – Today, Critical Hub Networks hosted Ms. Anna Gómez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), during her visit to the island joined by local officials.

In April 2010, Critical Hub was awarded $25.7 million in Recovery Act funds through the NTIA for the creation of the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative (PRBI), a project designed to bring fast, affordable broadband service to all of Puerto Rico. Deputy Assistant Secretary Gómez’ toured the facilities today after delivering the keynote speech at the 2011 Puerto Rico Telecom Conference at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza, presented by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce.

“The Obama Administration is committed to increasing broadband access and adoption in the U.S., which is a key ingredient for job creation and sustainable economic growth. Recovery Act broadband projects will help to increase broadband Internet access so that more Puerto Ricans are able participate in the 21st century digital economy and fully enjoy the benefits of broadband,” stated Gomez.

“We are honored to have Ms. Gomez visit our facilities,” said Karen Larson, Senior Vice President of Critical Hub Networks. “The Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative project – funded by the NTIA – is working hard to bring fast, affordable broadband to all residents of the island. The collaboration with all of the island’s broadband providers is key to bridging the deep digital divide that exists here in Puerto Rico.”

Since its funding, the PRBI has established an ultra-high speed backbone connection for broadband providers from Puerto Rico to Miami. “The next phase of the project will include a terrestrial wireless network to facilitate broadband speeds in areas which are particularly underserved, including Maricao, Vieques and Culebra. Since its funding, PRBI has established interconnectivity agreements with 11 broadband providers, as well as with government initiatives like the Department of Health’s Puerto Rico Health Information Network (PRHIN).

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