Liberty Global said it has teamed up with the government of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board on a “mobile WiFi Tour” that is providing free internet connections to communities there that were most severely impacted by Hurricane Maria.
Headed up by Liberty Cablevision Puerto Rico, the free WiFi Tour includes three mobile units specifically designed for first aid communications after a natural disaster, the operator said. Kymeta, a company that includes Liberty Global Ventures as a financial backer, supplied the satellite antennas, while Intelsat is delivering the Internet connectivity.
Each mobile unit is equipped with satellite antennas that provide internet to the municipalities which the PRTRB determined have the greatest telecommunications needs. Those mobile WiFi vehicles are also 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, Liberty Global added.
“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,” Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said in a statement. “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.”
Liberty Global has already 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 recent hurricanes in the region.
Last week, Liberty Global noted in its Q3 results that the effects of the recent storms negatively impacted Liberty Puerto Rico’s and C&W's revenue by an estimated $19 million and $3 million, respectively.