My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: LIME, FLOW and the $JA543-million Internet plan - Ebony and Ivory

Friday, April 8, 2011

LIME, FLOW and the $JA543-million Internet plan - Ebony and Ivory

Any community, however remote, which has a Public Secondary or High School will be provided with facilities for Internet access

Senator Daryl Vaz, Minister of Information and Technology (April 2011)

Feliz Sabado!!

Audia’s sing-song herald of the coming of the blessed Sabbath, her sole excuse for closing up her otherwise busy Cosmetology shop TJ’s Beauty Salon in Toll Gate, Clarendon.

Hours later spent at the local Jerk Place together savoring culinary delights (not allowed on a Sabbath, but who cares!?) after picking her up, with much cursing. Then later at midnight, with all our sins showered away, she would call upon the name of Jesus……fall asleep…..then bother me to make her call on him some more ‘bout 4am.

I love Sabbath. It’s so exciting! I need to write a book on SDA courtship rituals…..most fascinating!

Good news, though rare, usually comes in the same bodacious cleavage pairs in the Technology world as they did with Audia Grasnton.

Especially in Jamaica!

There is the apparent inexplicable island-wide decline in the murder rate by 44% in the First Quarter of 2011 as stated in the article “Murders drop 44% in First Quarter”, published Friday, April 08, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

Nice reading? It gets better!

Ring tones are now the new usage for Music singles, with Bob Marley getting most of the love on the Telecom Provider’s Networks heading the cattle drive for revenue as stated in the article “Digital Music Sales up - Marley dominates local ring tone charts”, published Friday, April 08, 2011 by Steven Jackson, Observer staff Reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

This is a revenue increase, by the way, of 1.2% to US$8.8 million (JA$756 million) from 2009 to 2010 worldwide (yes including Jamaica!!), based on the stats from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Not surprising, as a recent Pew Study hailing out of Harvard in the article Study: So people do pay for online content”, published December 30, 2010 7:43 AM PST by Lance Whitney, Digital Media - CNET News suggested that people are wiling to make online purchases.

A baseline of one thousand (1000) people conducted from October 28th 2010 to November 1st 2010, it revealed that of the seven hundred and fifty (750) Internet users, 65% of them spent online, with about 43% averaging US$10 per purchase.

Spotify two (2) year rise is based on this trend as well as their Freemium model as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Spotify and Freemium in the cloud - Shake, Rattle and Roll love for Internationals”.

Thus it is not surprising that these positive indicators of progress show such interesting connections to the Internet, as this decrease in Crime and the corresponding increase in Online Purchases is an increasing indication of the positive effects that the increase knowledge and contentment that the Internet brings.

No doubt, Jamaicans do now love their new found online freedoms, political Voice of Protest and financial earning potential to the point of being more “honest” via the income accrued from using the Internet.

Money earned “illegally” by downloading music or movies fore retail as well as setting up your own website.

Please note the “illegal” is in quotes; the Amazon Cloud Drive with its associated Amazon Cloud Player not only makes the Apple iTunes look obsolete, but the added curse of possibly being legit will make their model readily copied by budding music entrepreneurs in Jamaica wiling to start an Online Radio Station for listeners.

More on that also in a blog article on the Geezam Blog!

Social Networking as a means of making money this time an entrepreneurial drive based on advertising and Internet Traffic. Clarendonian Jehovah’s Witness friend of mine, who has a buzzing Social Network named ReconnectJA, for which I am currently writing a review later on for the Geezam Blog.

Thus a lower inclination to commit Crime and more money to spend online, the common-sense connection!

A bit of an oversimplification, yet, but it makes sense if you can get access to a Virtual VISA Credit Card and combine it with a Paypal Account.

My self as an example, having both a Virtual VISA Credit Card being utilized via my Paypal Account, which enables another part of my new found entrepreneurial venture of fixing and repairing PC for JA$2000 and selling Laptops and PC’s purchased online as stated in my blog article entitled “Gmail Motion is SLOOW & other April Fool's Jokes - Armstrong's Firefly”.

So it is nice to know that the Government of Jamaica is aware of the Internet’s potential to make it citizenry more knowledgeable and peaceable, being contented in making money from the Internet via various legal and “illegal” means.

This as they have co-opted the services of both Telecom Provider LIME and Triple Play Provider FLOW to build out the most ambitious Fiber Optics Internet Project I have seen or heard of to date.

And unlike the above news, this broke the light of the newspapers on lucky Thursday April 7th 2011AD in articles entitled “$543-million Internet Plan”, published Thursday, April 07, 2011 by Ingrid Brown, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Observer and corroborated in the article “Jamaican Schools to go high-tech”, published Thursday April 7, 2011 by Arthur Hall, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This ambitious and futuristic Project (Star Trek anyone!?) is completely being funded by the Telecom Providers - or more specifically the UAFCL (Universal Access Fund Company Limited).

For those who came late to the Telecom Providers discussion on my blog, the UAFCL  is a gigantic picnic basket of money that the Government of Jamaica collected from the very same Telecom Providers in the form of Tax or Levy, much as is done in the Bauxite Industry.

It took quite a bit of negotiation for the two-way deal to be ratified to contract the services of these two (2) undoubtedly capable Telecom Providers with significant experience in the laying of Fiber Optic.

In effect, they are getting their money back in exchange for building this Fiber Optics Internet Project. Minister of Information, Daryl Vaz, describes the ambitious nature of this Project, quote: “Any community, however remote, which has a public secondary or high school will be provided with facilities for Internet access. This Project is anticipated to facilitate modern services such as videoconferencing and more efficient use of our teaching resources through the establishment of virtual classrooms. These resources will allow students to access stored subject matter lessons and to take online practice tests and examinations”

Very clever indeed, Government of Jamaica!

The UAFCL is the source for the JA$543 million funding for ambitious Fiber Optics Internet Project to provide speeds of 100MBps, scalable to 1GBps to EVERY Government High School. The Fiber Optics Internet Project, first of its kind, is to begin hitting its stride in the next eighteen (18) months, with a Project time spanning five (5) years.

This is the same UAFCL that provided the JA$2 billion funding for the e-Learning Project, another Government of Jamaica initiative under a previous political Administration, the People’s National Party (PNP).

This initiative, being spearheaded under the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party)-led Government of Jamaica, is future proof, both in the scalability of speeds as well as guaranteeing its continuation of funding from the UAFCL, should Jamaicans become fickle at the polls and vote the PNP into power. Any more cribbed words from the various articles will land me in trouble with the respective newspaper journalists. So I will do myself the justice of one more such quote.

Triple Play Provider FLOW President and CEO Michele “Dallas” English best summed up the significance of this Fiber Optics Networks Project, set to interconnect almost three hundred (300) schools islandwide, quote: “The impact of this immediately has seen Jamaica moving up the ICT ladder now into the top 15 countries in the world, ranking higher than places such as the US, the United Kingdom and Canada. Many schools are currently utilizing the power of this technology and we think that by putting together an integrated network with our partner that covers the whole of the country, it will significantly enhance the learning and the teaching environment that exist”.

In five (5) years time, Jamaica will have an island wide Fiber Optics Internet Project, as obviously, the excess capacity would have to be utilized by possibly provisioning paid Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) or FiOS (Fiber Optic Service) to communities nearby.

In that space of time, Telecom Provider Digicel should have completely blanketed the island with their 10MBps Digicel WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) Network! Ditto to for Telecom Provider CLARO, who should have also by then launched their 100MBps capable LTE (Long Term Evolution) Network to match Triple Play Provider FLOW as stated in my blog article entitled “CLARO, LIME and HSDPA+ - CEO Michelle English, the Maverick”.

Also, in the United States of America, Telecom Provider Verizon in partnership with Japanese Telecom Equipment Supplier and electronics component maker NEC should have rolled out their 1TBps Network as I had foreseen to come to pass by earliest 2014AD in my blog article entitled

The commercial aspect of it is a huge boost to the two (2) Telecoms providers, who can take advantage of this Government of Jamaica initiated, UAFCL Levy funded Fiber Optics Internet Project and use the spare capacity to provide a plethora of Internet Services. Optimistically their partnership could continue and be likely modeled off Telecom Provider Verizon FiOS service.

A fact expressed by Managing Director of LIME, Garry Sinclair, quote: “While all of us at LIME are obviously excited about the commercial side of this Project, the real satisfaction comes knowing that we will be part of an initiative that will be a critical catalyst in the development of our country”.

Telecom Provider LIME and Triple Play Provider FLOW  may also go their separate ways after the Project is finished, simply using the completed Fiber Optics Internet Project as backhaul [interconnecting Transmission facility] for their respective ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line), Triple Play Digital Cable Service or even 3G or Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks respectively.

Looks like this Project is not only a gateway to a more prosperous and Internet connected and possibly Crime free future, as it would put Jamaica, a Developing country, on the same level as most First World or Developed World Nations as Telecom Provider LIME and Triple Play Provider FLOW work together, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder Ebony and Ivory Style!

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