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In order to facilitate increased broadband access, the Jamaican Government is moving to unlicence certain segments of the spectrum to make it freely available.
This will see the 2.4GHZ and 5.7GH and 902-908 MHZ spectrum bands being removed from licensing, to enable wireless Internet access and new technologies such as Wifi and WiMax to businesses.
Commerce, Science and Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell made the announcement during his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House on June 1.
He informed that Cable and Wireless Jamaica Limited has offered free wireless broadband access to Parliament by this weekend. This will enable members with the appropriate connection in their laptops to access the Internet and receive and send e-mail wireless using the Parliamentary “hotspot”.
Earlier this year, the Jamaican Government moved to widen its broadband capacity with the awarding of two new undersea fibre-optic cable licences to Fibralink Jamaica Limited and Trans Caribbean Cable Company Limited. The move represented a significant boost to Jamaica’s connectivity to the world and its broadband/fibre capacity.
The provision of these new access channels promise significantly lower prices in high speed broadband Internet and other data services over the next few months. The licences awarded to the entities authorize the licencees to build and operate fibre optic networks for the provision of all and any type of telecommunication services within Jamaica or between Jamaica and any other point in the world on a wholesale basis.
The total investment is over $5 billion, a substantial portion of which represents foreign direct investment.