Above: US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh at a meeting with viNGN (Photo: OG)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The United States Virgin Islands is continuing its push to build a high-speed broadband internet infrastructure in the territory.
USVI Governor John de Jongh and the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network have announced the award of the first $1 million of a forthcoming $12 million in local contracts for construction of the broadband network.
The $1 million targets labour and material for the installation of racking, generators and steel work at Fibre Access Points in the territory.
The funding comes after an initial $14.1 million in contracts were awarded last month.
“I cannot emphasize enough the importance and timing of these various contracts that are now being infused into our local economy,” de Jongh said. “These monies will provide local construction spending to our island contractors at a time when Virgin Islanders are struggling and at a time when the Virgin Islands local economy can truly benefit from such monies.”
Larry Kupfer, president of viNGN, said the project was starting to “get into full swing.”
“The fact is that high-speed Internet service is getting even closer to becoming a reality for the territory’s residents, government and businesses,” he said.
In the next two weeks, viNGN will additionally be awarding $5 million for other construction projects.
viNGN is a corporate subsidiary of the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority that oversees development of what the Governor’s office called the “middle mile” fibre network.