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Wireless Broadband Service Launched

Wireless Broadband Service Launched
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Telecom Fiji Limited chief executive officer Mothilal De Silva at the launch of the TFL wireless broadband service at GPH in Suva, last night.
November 14
10:31 2015

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday launched Telecom Fiji Limited’s (TFL) wireless broadband service at the Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) in Suva.
“This is a great step forward for Fiji’s information and communications technology industry — an industry that my Government is committed to developing,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“Not only is this expansion in line with my Government’s priorities, I am proud to say that this work has been undertaken by Fiji’s 100 per cent locally-owned telecommunications company – Telecom Fiji Limited.
“Thanks to TFL, the people of Fiji will now be more connected to each other and to the world than ever before.”
Fiji, he said, was experiencing more of the advantages of technological advancement everyday and Government had – and would continue – to help innovators in the ICT industry spread the benefits throughout the country.
He said Government had already deregulated the telecommunications market and increased competition by levelling the playing field for operators.
“Government has also reduced import duty on laptops, computers, smartphones and modems, bringing the price on all of these items down.
“In the 2016 Budget, the duty for wireless modems has been further reduced from five per cent to zero per cent. And now with the across-the-board reduction of VAT from 15 per cent to nine per cent, these items and everything else will become even more affordable for ordinary Fijians and thereby creating greater accessibility. When we make technology more accessible, we widen the benefits and opportunities generated by the information revolution.”
He said if Government allowed a digital divide to persist, it would widen the gap between the rich and poor, and between rural and urban communities.
To stop this from happening, Fiji’s first National Broadband Policy was developed by Government in 2012.
“This five-year development plan for the broadband and ICT sector provided a framework to position Fiji as a telecommunications hub. It lays out how Government will optimise economic growth, health, education and commercial benefits through increased connectivity and accessibility, and faster and more reliable internet and telecommunications services.
The growth and the benefits, he said, needed to include all Fijians and lift up all Fijians.
“It must help raise living standards, encourage learning, and develop among Fijians a more sophisticated understanding of the world. It must drive hope and ambition and encourage initiative and innovation. And it must show Fijians what is possible for them. And that can only happen when every Fijian is able to participate in Fiji’s technological modernisation.”
He said Government had been assisting with the opening of telecentres to provide free access to basic ICT services for students and their neighbouring communities.
He said they needed the children to be active participants in the information revolution, not only to bridge the digital divide, but to make sure the next generation was competitive in the international workforce.
Senior citizens, he said, must not be left behind.

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