As part of the Connect America Fund, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated USD31.6 million to Puerto Rico Telephone Company (Claro) to expand broadband internet access to an estimated 40,736 additional homes and businesses in rural areas on the island, announced Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi in a press release. ‘It is very important for homes and businesses in Puerto Rico to have access to high speed internet and modern telecommunication services at reasonable prices, whether they are in urban or rural parts of the island. These tools help expand user access to educational opportunities, health care, and global commerce. These funds will further close the digital divide, since access to broadband internet in Puerto Rico is significantly lower than in the states,’ said Pierluisi. The Connect America Fund is part of the federal government’s efforts to bring broadband access to rural communities, with funding allocated in several rounds. The USD31.6 million allocation covers the provision of broadband access to over 100,000 people in underserved parts of the municipalities of: Adjuntas, Aibonito, Anasco, Arecibo, Barranquitas, Camuy, Canovanas, Ceiba, Ciales, Coamo, Comerio, Corozal, Dorado, Guayama, Guayanilla, Jayuya, Juana Diaz, Juncos, Lares, Loiza, Maricao, Maunabo, Morovis, Naranjito, Patillas, Penuelas, Ponce, Salinas, San Sebastian, Santa Isabel, Toa Baja, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa and Yauco.