THE Bainimarama government renewed its commitment to provide every Fijian, irrespective of where they live, access to affordable mobile telephone and broadband services.
According to a government statement, the Attorney-General and Minister for Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, told an international mobile conference in Spain the government's aim was 100 per cent coverage across Fiji.
The Attorney-General attended the GSMA World Mobile Congress in Barcelona and gave a keynote address on the penetration of mobile technology in Small Island Developing States.
He said the Bainimarama government had extended mobile coverage — including 3G — to 95 per cent of Fiji. But it would continue to expand to areas that currently have poor coverage or no coverage at all through its Universal Access Program.
"The Fijian government's goal is 100 per cent coverage.
"So in order to accomplish this, government will offer subsidies to the service providers under the Universal Access Program," he said.
The Attorney-General said the government is now preparing for the allocation of 4G Spectrum, by way of auction, to enable high speed Internet access and premium data services. "Our focus is not just on the maximum bid but on the best arrangement that will expedite connectivity," he said.
For the first time, this year's GSMA Congress held a session on the unique challenges of providing mobile coverage faced by Small Island Developing States and remote communities.