An EC$16 million Fibre Optic Project has recently been signed for Montserrat. Montserrat has been without international fibre optic connectivity for more than 20 years, when the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano cut the island off from its undersea branch of the Eastern Caribbean Fibre System. Since then, all of Montserrat’s international telephony and data communications have been routed via a microwave network to Antigua.
Some politicians have been busy misleading the people, telling them that there are no preparations being done to be ready for this technology.
However, The PDM Team led by Honourable Paul J. Lewis, recently outlined in a feature speech, their ideas towards taking Montserrat on the True Pathway to Prosperity & Sustainability. Within that presentation the Minister spoke to some of the preparations already being done to capitalise Fibre Optics.
1) Establishment of a Cyber Security Center
2) Trained local Cyber Security Experts.
3) Drafting of Bills to be taken to the Legislative Assembly upon re-election. These include:
a)The Cybercrime Bill 2019
b)The Data Protection Bill 2019
c)Electronic Evidence Bill 2019
d) Electronic Filing Bill 2019
e) Electronic Funds Transfer (Offences) Bill 2019
f)Electronic Transactions Amendment Act 2019
g)Copyright bill 2019
(These bills are critical in allowing for the legal framework firstly to be in place for Citizens of Montserrat and international businesses to be able to operate to global standards and the relevant protections from Montserrat.)
4) Work has already begun for the creation of the first ever Montserrat ICT City and Renewable Energy Center. This will be a business park with all the necessary equipment and tech support to allow residents to work anywhere in the world while living on Montserrat.
5) Conversations towards developing training schemes with international companies are already on the way. These are companies based abroad who have indicated they are interested in using Montserrat's tech labour to provide services once Montserrat has the Fibre Optic technology in place.