Jersey's ministers have published a new plan which they say will turn the island into a “digital society” which encourages tech development and enjoys high-speed 5G networks.
The Telecoms Strategy, which was developed by consultants Oxera, will be launched officially at the Digital Jersey Hub by Senator Paul Routier today.
The new strategy says it will lay the groundwork for achieving a number of goals aimed at better supporting the digital sector, bringing new tech jobs and investment into the island, protecting Jersey from connectivity threats, and giving internet access to all members of society.
It is published just a week before Senator Sarah Ferguson will bring a proposition to the States criticising the lack of a telecoms strategy, and putting forward her own version.
Pictured: There could be more network competition in future, with the strategy seeking to encourage greater choice for telecoms consumers.
Senator Paul Routier commented: “This telecoms strategy provides vital analysis of just how far we have already come in developing our digital infrastructure. Our fibre network, 4G networks and off-Island links enable Jersey to act as a preferred location for global businesses and to support growth opportunities for the Island’s future.
“Nevertheless, there is still work to do in securing our place as one of the world’s best-connected jurisdictions. We will aim for growth of digital services across all sectors through next-generation connectivity and universal fibre connectivity, effective retail competition to meet consumer preferences, internet access for everyone in society and more companies using Jersey as a testbed.”
JT CEO Graeme Millar welcomed the strategy, stating that it provided a “clear way forward” for a “critical industry” in the island.
Pictured: The strategy aims to get as many islanders as possible connected to the internet - soon, all broadband customers will have access to a full-fibre network.
He continued: “The policy acknowledges the considerable benefit to the Island of having a full-fibre network connecting all broadband customers – that network will be finished in just a couple of months, putting Jersey in the number one spot across the world in terms of the percentage of its residents directly connected to super-fast broadband.
“With a completed full-fibre broadband network, JT will be steadily increasing the speeds available for its customers in 2018 – both upload and download – to make sure that Jersey residents and businesses can keep pace with the global digital revolution.”
Graham Hughes, CEO of Sure Jersey, described the strategy as an "important step because it represents the first time a coherent vision for the sector has been published by the States of Jersey."
He said that he welcomed the strategy's ambition to create "a fair and level playing field in wholesale services such as broadband and landlines", which he described as "vitally important."
“We’re looking forward to working with CICRA and other stakeholders to ensure the necessary actions are implemented quickly so that a more competitive telecoms market develops over the coming years," he added.
Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, described Jersey as having some of “the best digital infrastructure of any jurisdiction in the world, with 4G networks covering the whole Island, a full fibre network that passes all Jersey’s homes and businesses, and an innovative telecoms sector that is constantly developing new services in areas such as the Internet of Things.”
He added that he was pleased to see the government pledge further support to “growing this sector even further and developing Jersey’s proposition as a testbed for new technologies.”
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