JIS News

Jamaica is two months away from cheaper access to high speed broadband Internet. FibraLink Jamaica Limited, one of two Government approved undersea fibre licencees, will begin construction of its fibre optic cable network this week, with completion scheduled for the end of January 2006.
Minister of Commerce, Science & Technology, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, announced today that the operation would take approximately 30 days to be completed with an additional month for testing.
“This involves,” he said, “running fibre to three main connection points, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Bull Bay and then finally linking to Puerto Rico, making our much anticipated link to North America and the rest of the world a reality.”
The Minister was on a tour of the sea vessel commissioned to carry out the networking, the “IT Intrepid”, when he made the announcement earlier today.
Stating that Jamaica will have enough broadband capacity to make the country the telecommuting centre of the region, Minister Paulwell said “This is truly a historic development, as you are aware, Government’s aim has been to provide the telecommunication infrastructure necessary for us to be a part of the knowledge-based world. This is the high point of all our efforts to drive down the cost of high speed voice and data services by opening up the area to competition.”
Addressing environmental concerns, Managing Director of FibraLink, Mr. Rick Pardy, assured that the company has done an exhaustive survey of the reefs and has had numerous consultations with the National Environment Planning Agency (NEPA). He said, “We recognize the importance of the reefs and will be using special equipment to go through the reefs and protect them.
Mr. Pardy also said that FibraLink has received approval from NEPA but is awaiting the permit, which will be ready later today.
Minister Paulwell praised the joint venture company, which he said has performed well under their licence that was granted in December 2003.