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Telecommunications companies to upgrade Internet services

Monday, April 07, 2014    

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Telecommunication companies Digicel Jamaica and LIME have indicated that they will be upgrading their Internet services to provide users with improved access.

Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell, who made the disclosure, said both entities have committed to rolling out broadband services "in a much more vigourous way."

The minister, who was speaking at the launch of a Vision 2050 Information Technology (IT) initiative at Oberlin High School in West Rural St Andrew last Thursday advised that another firm could commence providing telecommunications services in Jamaica shortly.

That entity's entry into the Jamaican market, he said, is expected to, among other things, contribute significantly to making Internet service costs more competitive.

"I believe that the price for broadband (service) is too high. We want to see more competition...to get those prices down...and (as such), I am going to bring in another (provider)," Paulwell said.

Meanwhile, Paulwell welcomed the Vision 2050 initiative, which aims to equip young people in West Rural St Andrew with IT skills.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Member of Parliament Paul Buchanan whom the minister lauded for conceptualising a "highly structured" skills development programme.

Paulwell urged the targeted beneficiaries to support and use the programme's provisions "to secure better development for our people...more jobs, greater wealth, and a better quality of life."

In his remarks, Buchanan told the gathering that HEART/NTA will administer the training component, for which it has contributed $1.5 million.

He said Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning will provide remedial assistance to persons with literacy challenges, before they are allowed to commence IT training.

Buchanan also advised that persons who already have post-secondary subjects will be able to commence IT training immediately.

Training will be conducted at Stony Hill HEART Academy in St Andrew, and Above Rocks HEART Academy in neighbouring St Catherine, in collaboration with other educational institutions in the areas.

— JIS

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