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Guernsey's first-ever Telecoms strategy published

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Tuesday 19 June 2018

A document published today by the Committee for Economic Development outlines the three objectives for telecoms in order to deliver next generation digital infrastructure to the island.

The Future of Telecoms strategy is a central component of the Economic Development Strategy published by the Committee last month and which the States Assembly will consider next week. It lays out how the existing competitive market, regulation and targeted government support can ensure the island remains one of the most digitally connected communities in the world - and continue to develop a strong and innovative digital economy.

The three critical objectives of the strategy are:

  1. Fibre to business districts
  2. A target of up to 100 Megabits per second to homes
  3. Next generation mobile technology - 5G

The implementation and monitoring of the strategy will be overseen by the Future Telecoms Oversight Group, comprising political and officer representation from the Committee forEconomic Development and the Policy & Resources Committee, as well as expertise from the Development & Planning Authority. As stated in the Economic Development Strategy policy letter, the Committee will provide an update on progress against the telecommunications strategy by the end of 2018.

Guernsey already has basic broadband penetration to 97% of residential homes, three suppliers of high quality and mobile coverage with 4G and a range of connectivity services for small and medium size businesses. However, to develop Guernsey's future economy there is a pressing need to enhance connectivity in order to ensure that Guernsey can maximise the benefits of digital from both a social and business perspective. The strategy will build on the foundation technologies of fibre, mobile and copper to deliver increased capacity and performance to island homes and businesses as technology evolves, ensuring that Guernsey's connectivity remains world class.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, Vice President of the Committee for Economic Development, said:

'This is Guernsey's first telecommunications strategy and it marks a significant step towards the delivery of the digital connectivity priority agreed by the States in the Policy & Resource Plan. It is essential for the delivery of the Economic Development Strategy too, as it puts in place the means to develop the high value, low footprint economic activity that will drive growth and prosperity in Guernsey.

'It is expected that our current competitive market will fully meet the target of fibre to business districts. We know that both Sure, the incumbent telco, and JT, their main competitor in the fixed communication area, are committed to continuing the rollout of fibre to the key business districts of Guernsey.

'While the standard for implementing the next generation mobile technology has not yet been set, it is likely to require significant investment by the telecom operators. This strategy is critical as it provides the policy direction to regulators and the telecoms companies alike. The political and economic landscape must enable and encourage them to make the necessary investments to deliver next generation mobile technology, but which must also be balanced against the impact on our community and our environment.'

Colin Vaudin, States of Guernsey Chief Information Officer, said:

'When we talk about Guernsey being one of the most digitally connected places in the world, we're referring to the physical infrastructure we have today and what we need for tomorrow. Ensuring we are appropriately digitally connected is an integral part of people's daily lives. The number of connected devices in households is increasing, combined with higher data usage for things such as video streaming or people choosing to run home offices. Demand is only going to increase and whether it is at work, at home and on our mobile devices we need to ensure we can be connected at anytime and anywhere.

'The requirement for access to high-speed broadband is rapidly moving beyond entertainment only, and into the wider setting as a lifestyle, social and community necessity. This strategy lays out, in detail, how we will ensure all islanders will have super-fast broadband available to their homes and ensure we can, as quickly as possible, have access to the next generation mobile technology.'


The Future of Telecoms

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