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The Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) is supporting the National Broadband Initiative by offering the use of its utility poles for the running of aerial fibre.

“This permission was received last week and already JPS and the National Works Agency (NWA) are in discussions regarding the manner in which the works will be executed,” said Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz, while addressing the sitting of the House of Representatives on February 1.

He said that tenders have been issued for contractors to erect those cables in the parishes of St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, and Westmoreland.

“While the tender process for some contractors is complete, the responses to other tenders are currently being evaluated with a view to completing the process in short order,” he indicated.

Minister Vaz further advised that discussions are under way with Flow Jamaica to provide free access to two dark fibre strands on the north coast, to supply end-to-end access from St. James to St. Ann, St. Ann to St. Mary, St. Mary to Portland, and from Portland to St. Thomas.

Dark fibre refers to fibre-optic infrastructure that is not yet “lit” or put into use by a service provider.

“Flow has remained consistent in its support of the execution of the National Broadband initiative, I am, therefore, optimistic that the outcome of these negotiations will be quite favourable,” the Minister said.

The National Broadband Initiative 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.

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