JIS News

The Government is pressing ahead with the National Broadband Initiative, which aims to have every household and every community connected to the Internet.

The initiative forms part of the Government’s goal of having a truly digital society by 2030.

“We are aiming to provide last-mile connectivity to all Jamaicans by 2025,” said  Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz.

He was speaking at the presentation of laptops to top-performing Primary Exit Profile (PEP) students by the Universal Service Fund (USF) at the Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston on November 30.

Minister Vaz said that work is being done to expand the national fibre-optic and microwave infrastructure to connect schools and public entities.

He noted that currently, all  parish courts and municipal corporations are connected to the microwave infrastructure.

“We have also developed a three-tier connectivity plan where groups of schools will be connected to the Government’s backbone [through] which they will get access to the Internet and data services,” he indicated.

He explained that this type of network service will give the Government the ability to share a single source of Internet to various groups of schools, thus providing a single Internet service contract for all schools.

Minister Vaz informed that on completion, all Jamaicans will have access to the Internet, to do business, work, learn, earn and develop to their fullest potential.

“This is how we build a bold and brighter future for all Jamaicans,” he said.

The Minister said that the pandemic has made it clear that an education system powered by technology is the way forward, and “as Technology Minister, it is my duty to ensure that no child gets left behind because they do not have Internet connectivity”.

The USF is an agency under the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology mandated to ensure access to information and communication tools to facilitate development.

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