Contracts signed for GovNet build out

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Three major contracts have been signed to advance the build out of GovNet, the broadband network for the public sector.

GovNet’s Project Manager in the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU), Luke Jackson, said that the contracts, which were signed recently, are for fibre-optic expansion with the National Works Agency (NWA), at a cost of US$895,996.80; for active network equipment with IQtek Solutions Limited, at a cost of US$2,694,519.73; and for the provision of customer premises equipment with Cable & Wireless Jamaica, at a cost of US$251,577

He said that the NWA will manage the installation of the fibre-optic cables across the Kingston Metropolitan Area that will be part of the GovNet core.

Jackson explained that the core “is the switching and managing segment of the network” and entails connecting 13 sites stretching from Kingston to Portmore and Spanish Town.

He pointed out that the preparatory work for the core sites is 95 per cent completed, and includes infrastructure development, installation of racks, cabinets, uninterruptible power supply and air- conditioning systems, among other things.

Turning to the other contracts, Jackson said that the agreement with IQtek Solutions Limited involves the provision of active network devices, including routers and switches that will be installed at the various sites, while Cable & Wireless Jamaica will provide customer premises equipment that will be installed at each ministry, department and agency (MDA) to enable access to the network.

The Project Manager said he remains optimistic that the project will be completed by the end of this fiscal year. However, he is mindful of the disruption to the global supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine.

GovNet is the underlying network platform that will provide a secure network for all MDAs.

It will also support the provision of shared corporate services and key enterprise systems, including MyHR+, information system for health, as well as enable data sharing and online communication among government entities.

The initiative is being executed in phases, the first of which is being done under the TIU’s Public Sector Transformation Programme.