|[June 04, 2014]
Puerto Rico Announces $17 Million Tech Investment at Premier TECH SUMMIT
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico --(Business Wire)--
Puerto Rico today announced a $17 million investment to create an
ultra-high-speed Internet network to serve the island's growing
technology sector, which translates to up to $289 million in return.
The multi-phase infrastructure project, nicknamed Gigabit Island, will
establish a high-speed fiber-optic network; phase one will serve
residents and businesses in Old San Juan, Miramar, Isla Verde and the
Santurce district, which is the island's entrepreneurial and artistic
center. The initiative, which was announced at the second annual Puerto
Rico TECH SUMMIT, is similar to a Google (News - Alert) pilot project in Kansas City
that provides Internet service at one gigabyte per second - up to 200
times faster than normal. Gigabit Island will reach that same speed.
"This is transformative technology that will lead to even more
innovation and creativity in Puerto Rico's strong and growing tech
sector," said Alberto Bacó Bagué, Secretary of Commerce and Economic
Development (DDEC). "Our investment in Gigabit Island demonstrates
Puerto Rico's commitment to grow our technology and the services
The Puerto Rico Sewer and Aqueduct Authority (PRSAA) is facilitating the
installation, which is expected to begin this year and be completed in a
12-month period. Upon th project's completion, Puerto Rico will be able
to provide high-speed Internet access to 85 percent of private
businesses and 65 percent of homes by 2016.
The annual TECH SUMMIT put on display the strength and diversity of
Puerto Rico's tech center, which brought together more than 800
attendees from leading IT firms, tech startups, entrepreneurial
investment firms, academia, government and NGOs to share best practices
and drive innovation and solidify a strong tech hub that already
includes hundreds of firms. With global research firm IDC (News - Alert) predicting IT
growth in Latin America by 8 percent, Puerto Rico is focused on
strengthening its position in cloud computing technologies, software as
a service and enterprise security.
Through its Department of Commerce and Economic Development, Puerto Rico
offers generous investment incentives to qualifying tech companies that
offer services from operations in Puerto Rico.
Home to HP, Microsoft, Oracle (News - Alert), IBM, as well as entrepreneurs who account
for the largest increase in recent job numbers, Puerto Rico already has
a strong IT business infrastructure. Just last month Puerto Rico was
added to the first and most modern submarine cable infrastructure in the
"Attendees at the TECH SUMMIT are among the most innovative technology
strategists in the world, taking advantage of the strong business
incentives and unparalleled human capital Puerto Rico offers," Bacó said.
TECH SUMMIT speakers included leaders at international corporations and
of creative startups -- John Paul Farmer, Microsoft's (News - Alert) Director of
Technology and Civic Innovation; Chris Reith, who is leading the
implementation of the GovStat data system for the federal government;
Claudio Cossio, of Interesante.com, one of the most prominent investment
funds in Europe; and Puerto Rico CIO Giancarlo Gonzalez.
As part of the TECH SUMMIT, Puerto Rico hosted a hackathon, in which 125
developers were tasked with the assignment of creating apps to provide
solutions to help the government provide easier access and better
services to Puerto Rico residents. Apps developed during last year's
event are being rolled out in the coming months. These included Student
Hack, an app to register and automate students assistance in order to
help reduce school desertion; AMA Movil, an app to monitor more
effectively the Metropolitan Bus Authority routes; and Tenotifi.co, an
app that will notify consumers about breakdowns in the Puerto Rico Power
Authority's electric service grid.
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