Jamaica Is A Tech Desert. Gamers Are Made To Work Anything

While Jamaica is a beautiful destination for someone who wants to vacation and disconnect, for locals with knowledge of technology, unavailable high-quality, constant internet access and use is a nightmare. Jamaica is in many ways a technology desert: not as a major attraction for tourists seeking refuge from tech, but because it is difficult for business owners and residents to access technology.

Technology is scarce in Jamaica because it is expensive to import-the process is long and tedious. Companies like Amazon don’t ship directly to Jamaican residents, so use a Prime account to get free and fast shipping.

Andrew Johnson, cofounder and vice president of Jamaican Esports Initiative The tem, a streamer. Johnson, like any gamer, is trying to upgrade his setup and improve the quality of his content. To do this, he needs a similar way to get the same accessories and tools that any streamer needs, but he can’t buy things that don’t respect Americans or Europeans, like high-end graphics cards or webcams, which do not pay double the price, if it is available to him at all.

This issue is up to internet access. The main service provider in the country is Digicel and flow. They are heavily charged for the slowest upload speed compared to ISPs in other countries.

Internet access is generally better than ever, according to Johnson, but mostly for people living in Kingston, Jamaica’s largest city. “For people who live in rural areas, they can’t get a better cable connection,” Johnson said. “Their maximum upload speed is 8 Mbps. Digicel introduces broadband and fiber. I have 200 Mbps downloads and 100 Mbps uploads.”

Digical is one of the two main internet service providers in Jamaica, and their prices are similar to American ISPs, which are much faster.Courtesy of Junae Benne

To get around slow service and poor bandwidth, Jamaican streamers are always live before 6am and after 6pm local time, because the hours are off ’ y time is the best time for a strong, reliable connection.

When it comes to equipment and shopping, Jamaica doesn’t have many electronics stores like Best Buy or Micro Center. They may have their big-box grocery stores others electronics, but they are double the price Americans use to pay, and Jamaican shoppers know this.

“You can buy TVs, and electronics, and appliances from small local stores like What’s New, Intcomex, and Royal Computers. Someone would be ok to buy an older model TV, as opposed to me buying an older graphic card, ”Johnson said. He said he is in talks with local stores, such as Royal Computers and Intcomex, to keep stock-electrric electronics in stock.

So why not buy abroad? Many Jamaicans simply cannot afford American or European prices. The minimum wage in Jamaica the J $ 175 ($ 1.34 US) per hour, which hopefully translates to J $ 7,000 ($ 46) per week. The average annual salary is about J $ 336,378 ($ 22,219)

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