JIS News

The Universal Access Fund Company Limited, during the current fiscal year, will place focus on completing all approved projects to ensure wider availability of broadband access across the country.
As contained in a Ministry Paper, which was tabled in the House of Representatives this week by Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Phillip Paulwell, it is expected that the wide-area network will be implemented to allow connectivity to upgraded high schools and public libraries and infrastructure upgrade of the National Library, the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) and the Postal Corporation, will be completed by the third quarter of 2007/08.
In addition, the Fund will continue to press for better and timelier international traffic data from the terminating carriers and the Offices of Utilities Regulation (OUR), so as to facilitate its reconciliation efforts.
There will also be emphasis on monitoring progress at the more than 170 high schools and colleges, which will be upgraded under the e-Learning Project. The mission of the Universal Access Fund is to provide an island-wide broadband network that will allow public access to the information super highway through schools, public libraries, post offices and other agencies and institutions.
The work is being financed through a service levy on telecommunications companies.
During 2006/07, the Fund approved project plans for the upgrading of the JLS and the National Library; developed project plans in collaboration with the Postal Corporation and provided broadband facilities in pilot post offices; advanced mobilization payments to the e-Learning Company; evaluated responses to the broadband Request for Proposal and commenced negotiations with selected providers; and collaborated in providing strong defence against foreign agencies that mounted challenges against the levy regime.
Total expenditure for the period was $109 million, with the e-Learning Project accounting for $70.28 million.

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