FLORIDA, United States — C&W Communications recently unveiled a new initiative to help bridge the digital divide across the Caribbean.
The initiative entitled 'JUMP' has been introduced by the operators of Flow, Flow Business, C&W Business and BTC brands in a bid to foster greater digital inclusion in a region that today still enjoys less than 60 per cent of broadband penetration.
"Low broadband penetration in the Caribbean contributes to diminished opportunities for individuals, communities, and local economies, but with the support of funding partners, we aim to significantly close this gap within three to five years through a comprehensive programme that focuses on providing access, devices, and digital skills," said Rosario Veras, senior director, marketing and operations, C&W Communications.
Veras was speaking recently to an audience of regional heads of State and heads of government, along with regulators, telecom operators, and industry stakeholders at CANTO's 37th Annual Conference & Trade Exhibition in Miami, Florida, United States.
"Digital inclusion is about ensuring the benefits of digital technologies are available to everyone, and we must have intentional digital inclusion strategies and strive to eliminate institutional and structural barriers to technology accessibility," she added.
Veras said JUMP is a long-term investment aimed at changing lives, unlocking the potential of economies, and truly enabling progress across the Caribbean.
"We are committed to harnessing our resources and capabilities so more students can connect to their virtual classrooms, more people can benefit from telehealth and job seekers can improve their search for work and application access. Our core social mission is to connect everyone to the Internet — irrespective of their income or where they live," she said.
C&W Communications said it will be partnering with regional governments, along with non-profit organisations and private sector partners to ensure the success of JUMP.
"The digital divide is a large, multifaceted issue that requires holistic solutions, and a successful strategy requires building innovative partnerships, so we must co-create solutions in partnership with the communities we serve to ensure no citizen is left out," said Veras.
"There is a role for each business, government, and community, and we are hoping to create an opportunity for all to bring their energy, commitment and collaboration on the mission of uplifting our region."
Aamir Hussain, chief technology & product officer at Liberty Latin America, the parent company of C&W Communications, also addressed the conference on 'The Future of Broadband in the Caribbean'.
"In our digital age, broadband is a critical tool to enable progress and create access, and although there are currently 27 million users in the Caribbean, this only represents 60 per cent of the total population and therefore there is a tremendous opportunity for growth," he said.