Williams commits to tackling vandalism of telecoms equipment

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams has committed to working with colleague ministers to strengthen legislation to fight issues such as theft and vandalism of network equipment across Jamaica.

Williams was addressing the recent complaints from citizens regarding the quality of service from the two major telecommunication providers — Digicel and Flow — in Parliament this afternoon.

She said the complaints ranged from dropped calls in the middle of conversations, to the inability to hear persons on the other end, as well as frequent interference on the line and a host of other issues.

Williams, who noted that she met recently with both telecom providers regarding the problem, said the issues faced by the operators are:

  1. Investments in modernising networks have not been fast enough to keep apace with the growing bandwidth demands of consumers and applications, and so today's infrastructure is inadequate for the country's needs
  2. High dependency on a single fixed infrastructure that provides little redundancies due to a lack of alternatives in the market, leaving networks susceptible to all kinds of hazards and risks.
  3. The significant issue of the rising incidences of theft of network for which there is a need for much stiffer penalties in order to give the telecom providers a fighting chance at maintaining resilience in their network.

Williams stated that the Government is prepared to take on a leading role in working with stakeholders to achieve affordable, quality high speed, true broad band connectivity and penetration levels.

She further informed that the Government has already been having consultative meetings to develop a comprehensive strategic framework for the development of the ICT sector on a whole.


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