Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Thousands take up free access to Gov’t websites

Published:Sunday | March 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Maia Wilson, head of legal and regulatory affairs at Digicel Jamaica, greets Dr Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement for free access to government websites.

Following the signing of an agreement with the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and its telecommunications counterpart to formalise the arrangement to provide free access to government websites, Digicel is reporting heavy volumes of traffic from customers accessing the service.

"Since June 2016, Digicel customers have logged more than 43,000 megabytes worth of free access to government departments via the service," disclosed David Butler, CEO of Digicel Jamaica.

"In this digital age, it isn't enough to give people connectivity, you need to have content that makes them want to be online. Opening up access to these key centres of public information does just that and zero-rating has been proved to increase consumer choice and bring people online."

Senior executives of Digicel and FLOW, last Wednesday, signed the agreement with for zero-rated access to all government websites.

"From last year, Jamaicans have been able to access essential government websites, including educational services from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, whether or not they have credit on their data plan.

"What is new, however, is that now, all 265 government websites are zero-rated, thanks to the partnership between Digicel, FLOW and the Government," noted Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley.

In endorsing the partnership, Garry Sinclair, country manager and president of FLOW Caribbean, said: "As a key medium for transformation, technology has redefined the way we access, consume and share information. With this administration's focus on the provision of free public Wi-Fi zones across the island - an initiative also powered by FLOW, it is not only fitting but also timely that we explore other ways of using technology to inform, educate, and empower our people."