[jamaica observer] GOVERNMENT today signed a $543 million agreement with telecommunications companies LIME (Cable & Wireless) and Flow (Columbus Communications) to build out a high-speed island-wide broadband network.
The project is intended to bring affordable and consistently high quality Internet delivery to all secondary schools, post offices and public libraries in Jamaica. Under the terms of the agreement, the providers will be held to the agreed standard of 99.9 per cent availability and high speed transmission of 100 megabits per second on the backbone.
"On Monday March 21, 2011, Cabinet approved the award of contracts to Cable and Wireless and Columbus Communications for the provision of a managed island-wide broadband network, not only for providing connectivity and Internet access to our targeted schools, libraries, and post offices. Any community, however remote, which has a public secondary or high school, will be provided with facilities for Internet access. The spin off benefit of this Project is that the deployment of high speed Internet services in the associated communities and within communities traversed by the optical fibre cables can be accelerated," said Minister of Information Daryl Vaz at the signing held at Jamaica House.
Funding for network is from the Universal Access Fund Company Limited (UAFCL), which manages the levy charged to telecommunications companies for incoming international calls into Jamaica. The Fund has so far provided approximately $2.4 billion for teacher education and school projects through the e-Learning project.
"We charge the telecommunications providers to urgently complete the necessary arrangements for businesses and residents within these communities to be provided with broadband access. We would like to see the whole country provided with broadband access within the shortest possible time."
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LIME and Flow to build islandwide broadband network