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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the Government will be taking steps to expand broadband Internet access to Jamaicans.
  • The Prime Minister outlined that the need to set up the necessary infrastructure to facilitate connectivity, particularly in rural areas, is critical in transforming the island into a digital society.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the Government will be taking steps to expand broadband Internet access to Jamaicans.

“We have to put in place the required infrastructure to ultimately facilitate the provision of Internet access as a public good,” he said.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on April 28, Prime Minister Holness said talks are ongoing with the National Works Agency (NWA) to bring forward existing plans to roll out their fibre-optic network across sections of the island, noting that the need for improved connectivity is now a matter of urgency.

“The island does not yet have a full public access fibre-optic network, and what I have said to the NWA is that plan that they had which they presented to me earlier this year, that they should bring that plan forward because that is now a matter of urgency,” he said.

The Prime Minister outlined that the need to set up the necessary infrastructure to facilitate connectivity, particularly in rural areas, is critical in transforming the island into a digital society.

“We need to now place some resources to ensure that the fibre optic cables that are necessary as the backbone infrastructure for our digital society to provide that broadband Internet, so that the students in Portland, for example, who are now having difficulty in accessing the online education platform, those in Eastern and Western St. Thomas… that these investments for fibre optics be brought forward and that we make them now. This is a part of our economic recovery strategy and that directive has been given,” he said.

There is an increase in usage in connectivity as virtual alternatives are being used to conduct business across various sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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