Utilities Seek EWA’s Assistance to Support Puerto Rico Restoration

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Late last year, two EWA members sought our assistance to secure Special Temporary Authority (STA) to deploy radio communication systems for use in Puerto Rico in January of 2018. These members are part of a coalition of energy companies traveling to the island to repair or replace energy infrastructure and restore power. The island's 3.5 million residents lost power during Hurricane Maria in late September, and hundreds of thousands remained without electric service nearly four months after the destructive storm made landfall. 

Both companies sought STAs in bands in which they operate at their home locations (one in the 900 MHz band and the other in UHF, VHF and 800 MHz) in order to use each company’s already programmed communications equipment, which was transported to the island. In both cases, although not required, EWA conducted spectrum analyses in the areas where the companies would be operating to identify channels with the least amount of interference potential. EWA requested that the STAs become effective in early January to devote as much of the 180-day period to operations throughout the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. EWA worked directly with the FCC during the winter holidays to minimize delay, and the FCC expeditiously issued the STAs.