JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Chairman of Spectrum Management Authority (SMA), Edward Gabbidon, has called for public-private partnerships to leverage technology to enable Jamaicans, particularly those in unserved and underserved communities, to participate fully in the digital age. 
  • According to Mr. Gabbidon, the nation risks creating a class of people that are alienated and isolated from the new economy, due to their geographical location.
  • “We are a small country, but we are a proud one and we have the ability to do great things. We are great at sports, we are great at music, but we are leaving a section of the population out, because they have no access to the super highway,” he argues.

Chairman of Spectrum Management Authority (SMA), Edward Gabbidon, has called for public-private partnerships to leverage technology to enable Jamaicans, particularly those in unserved and underserved communities, to participate fully in the digital age. 

According to Mr. Gabbidon, the nation risks creating a class of people that are alienated and isolated from the new economy, due to their geographical location.

We are a small country, but we are a proud one and we have the ability to do great things. We are great at sports, we are great at music, but we are leaving a section of the population out, because they have no access to the super highway,” he argues.

Mr. Gabbidon was speaking at the SMA’s G5 Symposium, held at the S Hotel, Montego Bay, St. James, on Friday, October 11.

The symposium, which drew on the expertise of local and international technology and telecommunications specialists, was held under the theme: ‘Improving Network and Digital Industry Regulations; The Sustainable Use of Spectrum’.

Mr. Gabbidon said there are vast opportunities afforded by emerging technologies, and despite the country’s robust internet penetration, industry leaders can do more to further drive the advancement of technology in Jamaica.

We are on the cusp of emerging technologies. We in this room have the ability to chart the future of this country, as we have the ability to leverage technology to bring us to the next level,” he emphasised.

Mr. Gabbidon argued that accessible technology is the key to unlocking doors of opportunities that may have been previously closed to persons in unserved and underserved communities.

Technology is one that we can share in every sphere and that is communication, entertainment, health, education and training. If we leverage this the right way, a young Jamaican with high hopes in (any rural area) will be able to access an education from France or Germany. We will be able to bring technology to those who need it most. We will expose our nation to things that they need, without them leaving their geographic location,” Mr. Gabbidon said.

The Symposium saw discussions on: ‘The Evolution of Satellites in the 21st Century’; ‘Digital Transformation in Jamaica’; ‘The use of high altitude platform stations and innovative connectivity solutions’; and ‘The value of spectrum: pricing policy models that engender economic growth and development’.

It also focused on how technology can be used to bridge the gaps between healthcare and underserved populations.

The Spectrum Management Authority, which was established in 2000, is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology.

It is the national regulator for the radio frequency spectrum and, as such, is an advisory body to the Minister with principal responsibility for telecommunications.