The United States has offered technical and financial assistance to Jamaica for harnessing renewable energy resources and widening Internet access to rural areas.
According to a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries, Jamaica will make available unused spectrum, previously allocated to television channels, to local telecom operators so they can extend broadband and other telecom services to communities across the island.
The United States will provide cutting-edge technology and training to local entities in how to harness natural resources and generate clean energy.
Insufficient electricity supply and substandard Internet infrastructure are among the key hurdles hindering the Caribbean country from growing its economy and creating jobs for its thousands of educated youths.
Jamaica’s energy minister Phillip Paulwell has stated that U.S. support is critical to the sustainable economic growth of the country, according to the Jamaica Observer.
A strong broadband and energy infrastructure, according to the minister, will pave the way for the country to allow more people to access healthcare and educational services, besides popularizing e-governance and e-commerce initiatives. The goal is to make sure that no community lags behind economically due to the remote placement, the minister added.
The U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, Luis G. Moreno, who signed the agreement on behalf of his country, urged the local government not to relent until everyone gets access to reliable and affordable broadband service.
Under the government’s “Jamaica Connects” initiative, even U.S. businesses will take part in expanding Internet access to under-served communities.
The clean energy initiative, according to the ambassador, is part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan, designed to help developing countries reduce dependence on fossil fuels.