JIS News

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  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, has called on players in the telecommunications industry to expand their Internet reach, so that it can be readily accessed by more Jamaicans in the rural area.
  • Drawing an analogy between electricity and Internet, the Minister said that “if we accept that electricity is that basic infrastructure that every economy needs to grow and every citizen in Jamaica needs to be able to access at affordable prices, then it's not a far stretch to think of true broadband, digital connectivity as a basic requirement for every Jamaican”.
  • The Minister was speaking at the inaugural CONNECTECOMM Ecommerce Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Wednesday (October 23).

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, has called on players in the telecommunications industry to expand their Internet reach, so that it can be readily accessed by more Jamaicans in the rural area.

Drawing an analogy between electricity and Internet, the Minister said that “if we accept that electricity is that basic infrastructure that every economy needs to grow and every citizen in Jamaica needs to be able to access at affordable prices, then it’s not a far stretch to think of true broadband, digital connectivity as a basic requirement for every Jamaican”.

The Minister was speaking at the inaugural CONNECTECOMM Ecommerce Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Wednesday (October 23).

According to Mrs. Williams, having the vision today to provide citizens with robust, always-on, true broadband or high-capacity connectivity is the modern equivalent of the electricity endeavours of 100 years ago.

“Because we’re in Kingston and we get connectivity here, we think that it’s all across Jamaica, but it isn’t. Our rural areas of Jamaica are way, way behind and we have to get them to where Kingston is,” she emphasised.

The Minister’s presentation was titled, ‘Jamaica’s Digital Journey – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.

In the meantime, Mrs. Williams said it is her absolute belief that the goal of every Government should be to empower people to learn and thrive in a digital society and, by extension, in a digital world.

“The reasons are many. Digital technologies are transforming the skills people need to get employed and remain in employment; digital technologies are transforming what people do in their jobs, and digital technologies are transforming how and where people work,” she argued.

“You and I know that digital technologies are improving lives, and are accelerating progress and prosperity. So of course, as a Government, we embrace digital technologies with all that it’s capable of allowing us to do today and all of its glorious promises never before imagined,” the Minister added.

Mrs. Williams pointed out that a country risks getting left behind if its Government does not have a clear vison of how the country’s digital future will evolve. “This Government has a clear vision,” she declared.

The Minister also used the occasion to commend CoolMarket for hosting the conference, and for using its online marketplace to make shopping easier for Jamaicans.

“I believe that this conference is timely, as you know, ecommerce is gaining traction among the Jamaican people. Through your online platform. You’re taking the hassle out of business by giving Jamaicans more opportunities to access products and services without having to leave their homes and businesses,” she said.

The inaugural conference aimed to ignite transformation in the digital landscape in Jamaica through disruptive ecommerce strategies that will empower attendees to own their entire customer service experience and grow their brands while optimising revenue.

It featured several local and international speakers from the ecommerce sector as well as a marketplace and exhibitor hall.