Minister of Telecommunications Commends TelEm and UTS for Initiatives to further enhance Digital Connectivity within the Community

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GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Ingrid Arrindell commends both telecom providers, the TelEm Group of Companies, which will be creating an island-wide fiber optic network that will revolutionize telecommunication service in the country; and United Telecommunications Services (UTS) Eastern Caribbean, which will offer eight local schools high-speed broadband internet through its CaribServe broadband internet service.

TelEm stated that its hopes lie in the expansion of a “Smart City” program in which three districts have been chosen to test out Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) connections for a wider fiber optic network.

Not only will the new technology enable exciting new telecommunication features in homes and offices at previously unattainable speeds, it will also pave the way for a host of new business opportunities for creative and innovative individuals in the St. Maarten Community, TelEm stated.

UTS Eastern Caribbean will provide eight local catholic schools each on the island with a 10 Megabyte per second (10MBPS) connection to assist the schools in their aim of educating their students. With technology playing a bigger role in the classroom than ever before, the need for a robust, high speed connection is more important than ever, UTS stated.

Both announcements were made on the occasion of May 17th , World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).

The theme for WTISD was “ICT entrepreneurship for social impact.”

“The initiatives of these companies will further enhance the services being provided to the community at large, our visitors to the Island who require high-speed internet access so that they can remain in contact and efficiently conduct their business while on our Island, and the school-going population.

“Information communication technology can create valuable e-learning tools and provide career opportunities for our youth.  The sky is the limit where it concerns the digital economy, and every opportunity must be provided to our community and the youth to harness intellectual talent that would ultimately transform and catapult our economy into the digital age.

“I would like to see various types of micro, small, and medium sized e-commerce and e-businesses developing in the coming years as we move forward as a nation,” Minister Ingrid Arrindell said on Wednesday.

May 17th was identified as a day to help raise awareness of the opportunities that the use of the internet, and other information and communication technologies (ICT), can bring to societies and economies, as well as the ability of the internet to bridge the digital divide.