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.