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JAMAICA | Universal Access Fund, USF to Establish National Public Safety Broadband Network

Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Suzette Buchanan. Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Suzette Buchanan.
The Universal Service Fund (USF) is establishing a National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), which will allow government entities to link remotely, thereby improving the efficiency of communication across Government.

Chief Executive Officer at the USF, Suzette Buchanan, told JIS that the system will utilise teleconferencing and videoconferencing technologies to provide a uniform communication platform to coordinate activities among ministries, departments and agencies.

She said it will involve the use of government- and private sector-owned telecommunications infrastructure to create a single shared communication system to serve public-sector entities.

She noted that the system will save on time and encourage greater efficiency across Government. “If, for example, the Prime Minister wants to meet with Cabinet, or wants to meet with the parish councils across Jamaica, he can sit where he is, as he does not have to move to the different locations,” Ms. Buchanan explained.

“With the convergence of the different means of transmitting data, voice data and video can now be used in one continuous stream by all devices,” she said further.

She informed that the equipment has already been procured and a schedule is being prepared for the installation.

Ms. Buchanan said that the National Works Agency (NWA), which has installed fibre-optic cable across Jamaica, is a key partner with the USF on the initiative.

A pilot for the project will be undertaken that will connect the Office of the Prime Minister; Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and the Ministry of Finance and Public Service. The scope of the project will broaden as time progresses.

Ms. Buchanan told the JIS that the NPSBN project plays a major role in the Vision 2030 National Development plan, “which identifies the information and communications technology (ICT) sector as playing a major role in the transformation of Jamaica in becoming a prosperous country”.

The NPSBN is being undertaken through funding from the Government.

  • Countries: Jamaica