Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative Kicks-Off Islandwide Network Deployment

Critical Hub Networks officially kicked off the deployment of the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative’s islandwide microwave network this month, initiating the final phase of the ARRA-funded broadband project.

In April 2010, Critical Hub was awarded $25.7 million in ARRA 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. Since its funding, PRBI established an ultra-high speed backbone connection for broadband providers from Puerto Rico to Miami. Early this month, Critical Hub received its FCC licenses for the terrestrial microwave network, giving the company the green-light to begin the installation & activation of 24 interconnection points around the island.

The PRBI’s islandwide network provides additional ‘on-ramps’, if you will, to the fiberoptic bridge connecting Puerto Rico and the US mainland”, said Carlo Marazzi, President of Critical Hub . “There are at least 10 broadband providers serving rural areas of Puerto Rico. PRBI’s islandwide network will ensure that those providers can also connect to the PRBI, and that residents in rural areas will have access to the same broadband speeds at the same rates as residents in urban & metropolitan areas.”

Broadband providers which cannot affordably access the San Juan metro area will now have 23 other possible areas to interconnect with the network”, continued Karen Larson, Senior Vice President of Critical Hub. “Bringing fast broadband speeds out of San Juan to the rest of the island is central to the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative project.”

The PRBI network includes the deployment of middle mile capacity to the municipalities of Florida, Barranquitas, Villalba, Yauco, Fajardo, Morovis, Ceiba, Maricao, among others. At these locations, Critical Hub is working with local broadband providers who service these areas to ensure they have sufficient capacity to offer fast, affordable broadband service to residents, businesses, and community institutions such as schools, libraries, hospitals, police and other community institutions.

The Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative is also continuing it work on establishing local peering – or interconnection – between Puerto Rico’s broadband networks. “Broadband providers have 24 locations where they can interconnect their networks with the PRBI’s network,” said Larson. “Local Peering means keeping local traffic local. So, if you send an email from one broadband provider to another, that email should not have to go to Miami and return to Puerto Rico – it should stay on island. This is affecting the price that consumers pay for service, as well as the quality of service. Consumers need to call their broadband providers and tell them that local Internet traffic should stay local – to support local peering.”

Broadband Service Providers prepare for Internet Protocol IPv6

The Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative, the Internet Society of Puerto Rico and Cisco Systems

host workshop to prepare island’s broadband networks for the transition to IPv6.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 23, 2012 – Puerto Rico’s broadband providers met last Thursday at the Telegrafo facilities in Santurce for the IPv6 Workshop for Broadband Providers in order to begin preparations for Puerto Rico’s transition to IPv6 – the next generation Internet Protocol.

 

The activity was sponsored by the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative and the Internet Society, and included a presentation by IPv6 expert Mr. Jose Rosa of Cisco Systems. The topics addressed included IPv6 provisioning, transition and migration issues faced by broadband service providers.

In attendance were Network Engineers and representatives from broadband providers including Liberty, AT&T, Claro, OSNet, Caribe.Net, Worldnet, Aeronet, AWV Communications, WIFI Caribbean, as well as representatives from the University of Puerto Rico, the Internet Society of Puerto Rico and INTECO.

There is no doubt the importance of the Internet for Puerto Rico’s economic growth. Yet, less than 40% of our residents are broadband users. Puerto Rico’s broadband providers are preparing to be able to provide broadband to millions of new users, and with faster speeds and greater redundancy. Thanks to the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative’s (PRBI) ARRA funding, we are already seeing increased network investment by broadband providers,” said Carlo Marazzi, President of Critical Hub Networks. “The PRBI will continue to work with the broadband provider community to ensure that IPv6 is adopted so we can serve the next wave of Puerto Rico’s broadband users.”

IPv6 is the sixth revision to the Internet Protocol, and the successor to the currently-used IPv4. Due to the growth of the Internet in the past decade, IPv6 adoption is essential to facilitate the continued growth of the Internet and provide the necessary IP addresses for new Internet users and devices. The major difference between IPv4 and IPv4 is the number of IP addresses. There are just over 4 billion IPv4 addresses (232), while there are 2128 IPv6 addresses, or in other words, IPv6 can support 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 devices.

“There are now 2 billion people who connect to the Internet. We’ve got 6 billion people in the world who want to connect themselves and their devices. That is simply not possible with IPv4. It’s just not doable.”, stated Olaf Kolkman, Internet Architecture Board (IAB) Chair on February 3, 2011 when the final IPv4 addresses were distributed to the Internet registries, including the American Registry for Internet Numbers.

IPv6 is coming, and Puerto Rico is not ready.”, commented Karen Larson, Vice President of Critical Hub Networks. “The Internet Society of Puerto Rico and the PRBI are going to continue our efforts in 2012 with the goal of having the majority of Puerto Rico’s broadband providers participate in World IPv6 Day in 2013.”

In April 2010, Critical Hub was awarded $25.7 million in ARRA 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. 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.

ISOCPR is the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Internet Society. Created in the United States in 1992, the Internet Society is a non-profit entity dedicated to safeguarding the best interests of the Internet as well as stimulate its use throughout the globe. For more information, visit www.isocpr.org .

Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative, INTECO interconnect broadband networks

San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 12, 2012 – Critical Hub Networks and Iniciativa Tecnológica Centro Oriental (INTECO) announce the successful interconnection of their broadband networks, in an effort to improve broadband services in Puerto Rico.

Funded in February 2010 by the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), INTECO is constructing a broadband network through the municipalities of Cayey, Caguas, Gurabo, San Lorenzo, Juncos, Las Piedras, Naguabo and Humacao.  INTECO’s new network infrastructure is essential to the economic and social development of the region. In particular, INTECO’s broadband infrastructure will be specifically used to improve health care, education and public safety in the region.

“INTECO’s interconnection with the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative is central to our success in delivering broadband services to our region”, said Ing. Oscar Jimenez, President of INTECO.

“INTECO is working hard to bring broadband to an area of the island which has been traditionally underserved.  We’re thrilled to support their project, and we welcome INTECO’s network as a peering partner of the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative,” stated Carlo Marazzi, President of Critical Hub.  “The peering of INTECO with PRBI will bring faster broadband speeds to Puerto Rico’s east coast communities.”

The Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative is continuing its work to support economic development and broadband expansion efforts in the island.  In addition to interconnection with INTECO, PRBI has entered into interconnection agreements with 16 broadband wholesale and last mile solution providers.

“The PRBI’s goal is to establish local peering between all of Puerto Rico’s broadband providers – including traditional wired broadband, fixed wireless and mobile broadband services.  As Puerto Rico’s broadband networks upgrade to be able to deliver faster speeds, local peering becomes essential”, emphasized Marazzi.

In April 2010, Critical Hub was awarded $25.7 million in ARRA funds through the NTIA for the Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative (PRBI) to bring fast, affordable broadband service to all of Puerto Rico.

Headquartered in El Telégrafo in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Critical Hub Networks, also known as Caribe.Net, is an Internet Service Provider offering disaster recovery, data center and colocation services, and a full suite of retail, corporate and wholesale Internet services.

Startups of Puerto Rico “Hackathon” at El Telégrafo

San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 22, 2012 – First Startups of Puerto Rico Hackathon is attracted over 50 developers to compete for fun and prizes as they meet other developers and learn more about what they love: “Programming.”

 

This free event held on Saturday, December 22, 2012 was open to all developers, both novice and advanced, and takes place at El Telegrafo in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Teams spontaneously formed to work on any new applications that interested the developers. Working in teams or as individual contributors, the programming lasted over 12 hours, from early in the day until late into the evening.

Attendees were invited to show off their hackathon applications at the end of the event.

The winning teams were:

Best Hack of the Day & Best Student Hack

– FooHackers – for their arduino-based android controlled car (Team: Angel Viera, Ramón Gonzáelz, and Rafael Arce)

Best Parse Implementation:

– LoneWolf – a business card app with iOS passbook integration (Axel Rivera)

Best SendGrid Implementation:

– Hangman – an email-based hangman game (José Padilla)

The Best Hack of the Day and Best Student Hack was selected by the participants and received lifetime bragging rights, as the winner of the “First Startups of Puerto Rico Hackathon”. They also received the option of interviewing with local startups and software development companies for summer internships. They all received prizes for the most popular applications such as a 1yr ProPlan from Parse (valued at $2,400), t-shirts, and other prizes. The best SendGrid implementation won a Sphero (an incredible robot gaming system) from SendGrid developer evangelist Mike Swift, who flew in from New York to support and meet local developers. Other developer evangelists were available remotely from Silicon Valley, including Ricardo Alcocer of Appcelerator and Hector Ramos of Parse.

The event is best described as a relaxed environment led by the developers themselves.

We thanks to all the sponsors that make this possible: Explorer Media, Mindchemy, Critical Hub Networks, Puerto Rico Bridge Initiative, SendGrid, WovenWare, Appcelerator, Blimp, Departamento de Ciencias de Cómputos de la UPR-RP, Filepicker.io, Firebase, GitHub, Postmark, Parse, 10Gen, Los Cidrines.

The Startups of Puerto Rico Hackathon provided a great venue for programmers and other enthusiasts to meet others that share their interests. It has also attracted the attention of companies who were eager to engage with developers in the dynamic market. “Hackathon events provide a great environment for developers to compete amongst each other by exploring new ideas and developing applications in a short period of time”, says Ramphis Castro, Partner at Mindchemy, “these events drive new innovation and push the general community of developers to create broader applications.”

This free day-long event is the result of work from dozens of volunteers from the Puerto Rico Startups of Puerto Rico digital community. The hackathon was organized by University of Puerto Rico computer science student, Yamil Asusta and Ramphis Castro, Partner at Mindchemy, with the support of members of Startups of Puerto Rico. This first Puerto Rico Hackathon gave developers a chance to come together for a day of fun and competition, to meet new people, and to learn more about programming with all the cutting-edge technologies used in the market.