Dominican Republic Frames New Broadband Policy

The President of the Dominican Republic and candidate for reelection for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), has launched the “Digital Republic” program for 2016-2020, with the goal of converting the country to the Caribbean islands’ center for new technologies.

Around 950,000 students and teachers of the public education system will be given computers free of charge from 2017. By providing free computers, people will start demanding broadband services. The Dominican Republic has around 23.6 percent internet access and the government’s plan is also to accelerate internet access in the country and provide internet to 70 percent of the population over the next four years. Policymakers also target to reduce the cost of the broadband service by 30 percent.

The island is also planning to activate a free Wi-Fi network at public locations, including 5,600 schools, as well as in hospitals, parks, and the metro system in Santo Domingo. There will also be significant investments in a national fiber-optic network that will connect all provincial capitals. By deploying fiber optic cables, the government intends to bring down the cost of broadband in the country. This will help to attract more subscribers to join the internet bandwagon.

Fiber optic cables will support faster delivery of broadband services. Investment in fiber networks increases the GDP of the country. Fiber optic networks will also result in a significant price drop for consumers.

The country currently has 541.76 kilometers of fiber-optic cables. Work is underway for 254.8 km more, while another 499.11 kilometers are in the bidding process.

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