According to local news reports, the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) is supporting the country’s National Broadband Initiative by offering the use of its utility poles for the running of aerial fibre.
This could prove a useful source of support for the initiative. JPS is an integrated electric utility company and the sole distributor of electricity in Jamaica. The company is engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, and also purchases power from a number of independent power producers. There are more than 1,600 JPS team members who provide service to over 640,000 customers each day.
According to the Jamaica Information Service website, permission has already been received and JPS is in discussions with the country’s National Works Agency (NWA) about how the work will be carried out. The National Works Agency is directly responsible for Jamaica's main road network, consisting of approximately 5,000 kilometres of class A, B and C roads.
A number of parishes have already seem tenders issued for contractors to erect cables. The responses to other tenders are currently being evaluated.
In addition it seems discussions are under way with Flow Jamaica to provide free access to two dark fibre strands on the north coast, to supply end-to-end access from St. James to St. Ann, St. Ann to St. Mary, St. Mary to Portland, and from Portland to St. Thomas.
Flow is one of many trade names of the Caribbean telecommunications group Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), now known as Liberty Latin America, used to market cable television, internet, telephone and wireless services provided by the company.
The aim of the National Broadband Initiative is to have every household and every community connected to the internet as part of the government’s goal of having a truly digital society by 2030.