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Digicel fibre network to help create 'smart cities' in Jamaica

Digicel fibre network to help create 'smart cities' in Jamaica

Posted by Shanelle Weir on December 03, 2014

Digicel yesterday said that its underground fibre network will help create 'smart cities' in Jamaica.

According to the telecommunications company, its recently installed advanced fibre-optic technology boosts Jamaica's ability to handle large quantities of data at high speeds.

"Smart cities generate insights from big data to improve efficiency of physical infrastructure use and enhances decision-making as it engages e-participation with its citizens," Digicel said, adding that these cities are regarded as major growth drivers, as close to 50 per cent of the global GDP comes from urban centres.

Earlier this year, Senator Angela Brown-Burke, who is also the mayor of Kingston, noted the importance of the fibre network.

"This investment in fibre by Digicel Business will certainly help us to achieve some of the broader objectives of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, as well as some of our ICT development plans," she said. "We're looking to redevelop downtown Kingston, and having this fibre network will definitely play a key role in making this work."

The Government has already started implementing smart city projects, such as the Tablets in Schools initiative.

"Kids are going to go home with their tablets," said Brown-Burke. "So once they're in a Wi-Fi area, they can pick up and continue their work."

With the first phase of its fibre network completed in the key commercial areas of Kingston and Montego Bay, Digicel now provides connectivity via fibre to major industries, including business process outsourcing (BPO), manufacturing and tourism.

For these businesses, fibre affords them the opportunity to take advantage of cloud services and other cutting-edge technologies like IP surveillance and video-conferencing.

"Businesses need to be able to access the type of technology that will enable them to perform at global standards," said Jason Corrigan, general manager of Digicel Business. "But we understand that most times, lack of capital to invest in solutions like these and not having the resources to manage them are barriers to adoption for many Jamaican businesses.

"That's why Digicel Business has invested so much in building out a shared-services cloud platform that will enable them to enjoy the benefits of the technology, regardless of their size or the amount of resources they have at their disposal. Being able to use these services on our fibre network gives businesses even more advantages, as they have access to greater bandwidth and speed," Corrigan added.

The company pointed out that its fibre network also plays an important role in achieving Jamaica's goal of becoming the fourth node in the global logistics hub.

According to Corrigan, the fibre, which connects directly to Digicel's Tier III certified data centre facility, would play an important role in supporting the connectivity needs of the businesses operating in Jamaica's proposed hub.

"Cloud computing, BYOD and video have changed the way organisations communicate, enabling employees, partners and customers to interact with the business 24/7," said Corrigan. "Being able to offer this level of service will undoubtedly provide motivation for multi-national corporations in the global logistics industry that have connectivity at the top of their list of priorities."

These services, Digicel said, also help to equip businesses with the tools they need to increase operational efficiency, save money and, more importantly, strengthen their global competitiveness.

"This is why Digicel Business strongly supports the Jamaica Observer Business Leader Award's celebration of businesses which have used the capital raised through an initial public offering to expand, become more efficient, create job opportunities and help stimulate the local economy. The listing of these companies on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange has also made them more transparent, which helps improve the overall business environment," Digicel said.

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