Expand internet reach in Jamaica — Technology Minister

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, 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.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams (left), converses with Chairman of the Cool Group of Companies, Joe Issa (centre) and Chief Executive Officer of Geek Certified, Scott Wilson, at the inaugural CONNECTECOMM Ecommerce Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Wednesday (October 23).

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.”

“Our rural areas of Jamaica are way, way behind and we have to get them to where Kingston is”

— Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams

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.

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.

“You and I know that digital technologies are improving lives, and are accelerating progress and prosperity.”

— — Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams

“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.