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Telecoms bodies urged to expand Internet reach in Jamaica

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams (second left), Managing Director of CoolMarket, Vivienne Reynolds (left), Chief Executive Officer of Geek Certified, Scott Wilson; and Global Trend Expert, Daniel Levine. (Photo: JIS)

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.

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

“Because we’re in Kingston and we get connectivity here, we think that it’s all across Jamaica, but it isn’t.”

– Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams

According to 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 said.

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.”

Williams said technology allows us to do things we never imagined before.

“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.”

Williams pointed out that a country risks getting left behind if its Government does not have a clear vision of how its 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.

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.

–JIS