Puerto Rico plans to invest $17 million starting in July to create an ultrafast fiber-optic network to deliver Internet service in San Juan.
The project, which is similar to the Google Fiber initiative, is aimed at attracting creative enterprises and tech firms from the island and outside to revitalize the capital.
"Who has not heard about what Google did in Kansas City when they put in fiber-optic networks and even helped boost property prices?" Puerto Rican government information technology chief Giancarlo Gonzalez said.
Google rolled out an experimental broadband network in the Midwestern U.S. city that offered speeds of one gigabit per second, allowing information to travel between 50 and 200 times faster than the standard on the island and more reliably.
The project in Puerto Rico, dubbed the "Gigabyte Community," will provide high-speed Internet service across a wide swath of San Juan, including the Santurce district, which has been selected to be the new entrepreneurial and artistic center of the capital of an island that is making a concerted effort to reinvent itself and put more than seven years of recession behind it.
"Thanks to the creative industries, Santurce is developing rapidly," Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce Alberto Baco said in a press conference.
The government plans to officially unveil the project at the Tech Summit Puerto Rico on June 4, officials said. EFE