US Government and Jamaica Partner for Broadband Internet Deployment

Experts from the US Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) have partnered with the Spectrum Management Authority and other Jamaican government technology agencies to expand and accelerate high-speed Internet access to underserved communities across the country.

During a workshop held in Kingston, CLDP brought together representatives from the Jamaica Spectrum Authority, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and other government agencies to hear from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) of the United States, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, and the Wireless Internet Service Provider Association.

Day one of the conference focused on rural connectivity through private sector solutions, while day two will cover government programs such as the FCC’s Universal Service Fund.

The centerpiece of the event was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, with FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel, the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Chargé d’Affaires John McIntyre, and SMA CEO Dr. Maria Myers Hamilton. The MoU creates a framework for future collaboration between the two agencies and demonstrates strong interest in continuing to work closely together on common ICT goals.

This workshop followed an initial roundtable in October 2021 in Washington, DC, where Jamaican government, US government and industry leaders discussed the benefits of 5G and security issues. networks and supplier diversity, including open radio access networks (Open COURU).

At the end of the event, the Jamaican government finalized a statement of principles on 5G cooperation with the United States. Funding for these engagements was made possible by the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, a U.S. government initiative to help partner countries harness the power of an open, trusted, and secure digital economy.

The SMA worked closely with the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET) and other key stakeholders to develop strategic protocols to meet Jamaica’s connectivity needs and plan future innovations .

Recent milestones include the 700Mhz tender, in which the successful bidder will be required to invest more than 2.25 billion yen ($14.75 million) in building its 4G network, a landmark development that has increased competition in the Jamaican mobile market. , provide coverage to underserved areas and generate revenue for the Treasury.

The National Broadband Connectivity Plan, implemented by MSET in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has also ensured access to educational content for over 400,000 students housebound for an extended period, while providing broadband connectivity to health centers and hospitals across the country. The ministry is coordinating this initiative in conjunction with the SMA, private telecommunications network operators, cable television operators, broadcasters, eGov Jamaica Limited and the National Works Agency.

This week’s pledges should help Jamaican officials in their ongoing efforts to improve island-wide connectivity and encourage the private sector to build a more resilient and robust communications network, which is critical for development. economy and public safety. These meetings also laid the groundwork for future collaborations between the two governments on network security and supplier diversity, essential elements for the universal deployment of broadband services.

Funding for these engagements was made possible by the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, a U.S. whole-of-government initiative to help partner nations harness the power of an open, trusted, and secure digital economy and advance state-of-the-art, safe and secure. diverse and resilient infrastructure improvements; pro-competitive legal and regulatory reforms consistent with democratic and free market values; policy approaches that facilitate innovation and investment from the United States and like-minded countries; and cybersecurity practices consistent with international best practices.

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