Fijian gov't to maximize on e-services for those in rural areas

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-19 16:56:42|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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SUVA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government will maximize the use of the Walesi platform for transmitting messages to reach the farthest in Fiji as it streamlines e-government services, local media reported on Friday.

Fiji's Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said on Friday that there were plans to streamline e-government services through the establishment of network towers.

They want connectivity for those who have no access to e-services, he said, adding that the government was talking to telecommunication companies Vodafone and Digicel to achieve it.

"We also have what we call the universal access funds that we are going to use or apply to ensure that we put up towers in different areas so people can actually have coverage," he said.

The Walesi platform is using satellite technology to give people access with the ability to actually expand its services into a sort of data consolidation or sending back data.

The Fiji government's strategy is to help companies improve their competitiveness and attract new foreign investment into the country, making government services more accessible, convenient and hassle-free.

Fiji gained Internet access in 1995 and the connection to the Southern Cross cable, a trans-Pacific network of telecommunications cable, was commissioned in 2000 which strengthens the island nation's connectivity to the rest of the world.

The new connection is not available nationwide because it is concentrated in the urban centers and is expensive.

ICT infrastructure and access were identified as causing severe divisions between rural and urban areas in Fiji.

The barriers to the rapid development of Fiji's e-government include lack of infrastructure in rural areas, especially the access to electricity and telephones, the remoteness of small islands.