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DISH Deploys Internet, Pauses TV To Disaster Hit Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

Englewood, Colorado-based DISH says it is helping to bring back Internet services to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, after they were hit by Hurricane maria. According to DISH, it has set up "multiple" satellite Internet connections in the region using Internet services partner HughesNet, including at a hospital, fire department, school, and mobile command center. DISH also said it will pause DISH service to its affected customers in the region, so that its customers will not be charged for TV service that they cannot receive. In addition, DISH said it wil provide free repair and replacement of satellite dishes and equipment damaged by the storm. DISH said customers can discuss specific situations with a customer service representative via phone or email. Despite the offer, many of its customers -- still cut off from the world without power, electricity, phone, or Internet--may not be able to communicate with DISH. According to the latest numbers from Puerto Rico, only 15% of the customers on the island have power, and only about 50% of the island has telecommunications services, with only 28% of its cell towers back in operation after the Hurricane.