12 December 2011
The Treasury Minister is proposing to provide £19m worth of financial assistance to JT to replace Jersey’s copper telephone wiring with an Island-wide network of fibre optic technology. The new network would offer businesses and individuals broadband speeds of 1 gigabit.
Senator Philip Ozouf said "The roll out of super fast broadband across the Island supports our plan for economic recovery. Fibre optic technology provides a gateway to a global online marketplace which will enable Jersey businesses to compete effectively. The marginal investment needed to move from the old copper wiring to 100% fibre optics for the whole population will put Jersey into a world beating position."
Senator Ozouf added “Now that we are on target for balanced budgets by 2013, we can invest in economic growth without incurring debt. This investment is key to attracting new businesses at a time when job creation is one of the most important tasks facing ministers. It will put us at the forefront of the rapidly evolving technological race into the future and help to create jobs and get our economy moving.
“We need to boost the economy and create an environment where new businesses can thrive. To do this we must stimulate innovation and fibre optic technology provides an environment that’s ripe for new enterprises.
"We have set up a cross-departmental task force, led by Social Security and overseen by a steering group of ministers, to engage industry in getting Islanders back to work."
An independent report from economists, Oxera, recommended that investing in a fibre optic network, rather than in the alternative Very high bitrate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL), was in the interests of the shareholder and of JT.
Advice from the States’ Economic Adviser indicates that an Island-wide network of super-fast broadband speeds would also offer wide-ranging socio-economic benefits:
- an environment in which e-commerce entrepreneurs could establish new businesses
- high speed broadband would attract new investment to the Island
- new job opportunities and diversification of our economy
- new online entertainment opportunities for Islanders