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Report calls on FCC to probe storm aftermath in Puerto Rico

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/14/2019
FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2017 file photo, personnel from Liberty Cable work to restore fiber optic lines on the third day after the impact of Maria, a Category 5 hurricane that crossed the island, in Carolina, Puerto Rico. A report issued Tuesday, May 13, 019, by the group Free Press, a consumer activist group, is calling on the U.S. government to investigate the collapse of communications in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to avoid a repeat of the situation as the island prepares for another storm season. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2017 file photo, personnel from Liberty Cable work to restore fiber optic lines on the third day after the impact of Maria, a Category 5 hurricane that crossed the island, in Carolina, Puerto Rico. A report issued Tuesday, May 13, 019, by the group Free Press, a consumer activist group, is calling on the U.S. government to investigate the collapse of communications in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to avoid a repeat of the situation as the island prepares for another storm season. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A consumer activist group has released a report outlining the collapse in communications that beset Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and it urged the U.S. government to investigate the problems to avoid a repeat of the situation as the island prepares for another storm season.

Tuesday's report by the group Free Press says the Federal Communications Commission should hold telecommunication companies responsible for the problems that emerged after the storm and also convene an independent commission to investigate the blackout similar to the one it formed after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.

The FCC rejects the report and says it has worked to provide short- and long-term funding to restore and improve Puerto Rico's telecommunications system, including the creation of a $750 million fund announced last year.

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