Empowering Jamaica's digital future
Stephen Murad, CEO, Digicel Jamaica .

Digicel is pledging its support toward universal connectivity and digital transformation throughout the Jamaican economy.

Mid-way through its massive US$200 million spend on expanding its LTE and fibre networks in addition to state-of-the-art broadcast facilities, the company is announcing that it has made significant gains in closing the 'digital divide'.

Digicel now delivers 99 per cent population coverage for LTE mobile data service, in addition to passing over 250,000 households and businesses with access to high-speed fibre internet. This takes the digital operator to a total of over 3,100 kilometres of fibre installed across Jamaica.

"Our network expansions are providing countless opportunities for economic empowerment for Jamaicans due to the direct correlation between access to broadband internet and economic growth," commented Stephen Murad, CEO of Digicel Jamaica.

In addition to more employment opportunities for hundreds of Jamaicans as the Digicel network expands, the company's Foundation has so far installed four of 10 'smart rooms' across Jamaica. These institutions have been provisioned up to two years' free super-fast Internet service.

Alongside the company's successes so far, Murad is mindful of the challenges ahead. Six global Big Tech companies are using two-thirds of all Caribbean network capacity, and this is growing every year. Telecoms operators are therefore forced to add more and more capacity to their networks to cater for this growth in traffic at a tremendous cost. However, Big Tech do not bear any of the costs to deliver their data, and operators like Digicel are constrained from passing on most of the cost to consumers.

With deep concern, Murad expressed, "Let us use this year's empowerment theme to rid ourselves of this old model of Big Tech free-riding on networks. Our policymakers and legislators have the power in their hands to impose a fair and equitable solution in the interest of ensuring that Jamaica derives the greatest benefit from every opportunity that emerges in the growing digital economy."

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