The National Broadband Policy which came into effect last year has been billing up to its expectations says the Ministry of Communications permanent secretary, Elizabeth Powell.
The policy has established a roadmap concerning all future broadband developments and will lay the foundation for the rapid extension of reliable and affordable ICT services on an equitable basis.
Powell says this would “ensure that all industry developments will be consistent with Government’s plans and established standards”.
Government has also launched supplementary projects to ensure objectives of the broadband policy are achieved such as the government tele-centre project.
“The tele-centre project was launched to meet the objective of increasing Internet penetration and community access to broadband,” she said.Under the policy, an initial level broadband service will be made available to people who are able to access it at an affordable price and the service will have a basic download speed of 256 kbps.
“Similarly Government has ensured that Internet remains affordable to the masses in line with the plans objective of increasing affordability of basic broadband services. Currently one can access high speed broadband access from approx $35.00 a month.”
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the policy last year which was the result of two year collaboration between the Ministry of Communications, the public, the local telecommunications sector and the international telecommunications union.
“The policy will enhance and promote access to the internet which will in turn bridge the divide between communities of Fijians who would have otherwise been isolated,” Powell added.
The policy also aims to provide all primary and secondary schools with broadband access by 2016.