Thursday 1 October, 2020

Digicel: The preferred internet provider of the government of Dominica

The government of Dominica has partnered with Digicel to ensure that all citizens have access to telecommunications services.

Minister of Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Oscar George said the novel coronavirus is testing the ability of telecommunication operators to adequately respond to the increasing traffic demand in terms of capacity and the quality of service.

He believes that the pandemic presents an avenue for increased innovation while encouraging us to maximise use of existing technologies.

In a statement, Minister George boasts of the government’s foresight and pro-active planning in this regard.

According to the statement, the government of Dominica signed an agreement with Digicel in January of 2019 to enhance the telecommunication infrastructure services at all government facilities inclusive of schools, police stations, hospitals and health centres.

Minister George said: “This network will provide multiple layers of redundant connectivity including underground and overhead fibre, and cloud services to host Government data and services. The contract, through the Learning Hub technology, facilitates students and teachers to connect online to pursue classes without being charged. Additionally, health professionals, through the “Connected Health” facility are able to provide patient care via both audio and video facilities from the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital to 30 rural health centres strategically located around Dominica.”

After extensive consultation, local telecommunications operators have come on board, committed to support the government’s response to the coronavirus.

The Telecommunications Minister said: “While the Operators will be engaged in monitoring online traffic in an effort to manage increased traffic, it is also anticipated that special arrangements will be included to lower the cost barrier in order that as many citizens/customers as possible gain the required access to the service during this period.”

Minister George said Wi-Fi networks have already been established in 56 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. He said the bandwidth in schools in communities that do not currently have access to broadband connectivity, will be increased above the stipulated range.

Telecommunication operators have also partnered with the Ministry of Health to keep consumers informed through the distribution of SMS (text) messages.

The hospitality sector also stands to benefit from these concessions.

Minister George said the government is doing all in its power to ensure that all Dominicans have access to affordable telecommunications services irrespective of geographic location, economic or social status.

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