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Digital industry calls for cheaper broadband and faster connection

Digital industry calls for cheaper broadband and faster connection

Friday 21 March 2014

Digital industry calls for cheaper broadband and faster connection

Friday 21 March 2014

Digital Jersey says the cost of doing business in the Island is not being helped by the cost of broadband links locally and with the rest of the world.

In a paper - Enabling Effective Data Connectivity – the promotional body for the digital sector, urges a faster rollout of the Gigabit project to businesses in St Helier as it not due to reach the town until next year. It points out that while Digital Jersey supports Gigabit as a bold investment in the future, rollout needs to be accelerated for business, where it is likely to have the greatest economic benefit.

And it says many competitive jurisdictions have now launched 4G services, whereas Jersey is still to license the new radio spectrum needed to increase data connectivity capacity. It is Digital Jersey’s view that private circuit pricing, both within and outside the Island, is expensive compared to many competitive jurisdictions and viewed as a barrier to growth.  Compared to Luxembourg, Jersey’s internal private circuit costs are reputedly three times costs to the rest of the world can be five to ten times higher.

The paper concludes that current pricing levels are having a major impact on the growth of digital businesses in Jersey and are hampering efforts to attract new business. The Chairman of Digital Jersey, Paul Masterton, said effective data connectivity was a critical factor if the Island was to meet its strategy of developing its digital sector. 

“The issues identified need to be quickly addressed if Jersey’s ambitions for digital growth and a more diversified economy are to succeed. While we are calling for urgent change, we are mindful that the telecoms industry is vitally important to the Island and that Jersey Telecoms is an extremely valuable asset to Jersey, as a major economic contributor, employer and an important supporter of the island’s social programmes,” he said

However, he said, Digital Jersey was delighted with our recent collaboration with JT and their recent announcement to deliver gigabit to a group of digital companies later this year, up to two years ahead of the planned schedule.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with JT and others in addressing the data connectivity challenges,” Mr Masterson said.

“Longer term we need much greater coordination between government, the Channel Island Competition Regulatory Authority and Digital Jersey, whereby government determines the long term strategy for the Island, CICRA regulates and enforces this strategy and Digital Jersey operates as the development agency.”

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