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Director General of the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), J. Paul Morgan, has said that Jamaica has become a celebrated case in terms of its achievements, since embarking on the path of liberalization in the telecommunications sector. “The country has a robust, modern, dynamic and expanding telecommunications sector that rivals that of any other developing or developed country,” he said.
Mr. Morgan, who is also Chairman of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), was addressing the 5th Annual CTO Forum on (September 24), at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay. “From a monopoly situation in 2000, we now boast three established and entrenched mobile providers, one major fixed line provider, which now faces emerging competition from a number of quarters; a fully integrated triple play provider and a growing and diverse range of broadband offerings. It is estimated that in the first six years since liberalization, the Jamaican telecommunications sector recorded over US$1.2 billion of capital investment,” Mr. Morgan noted.
The Chairman pointed out that Jamaica’s experience has proven that a policy to promote Information and Communications Technology (ICT), could deliver significant bounty in terms of investment, access to service, innovative products and lower prices.
“We recognize the potential for ICTs to open up the economic space in a number of exciting and diverse ways. We have also proven that a policy approach that is flexible and forward-thinking, and a regulator that is itself forward thinking; pragmatic and proactive, are crucial to securing these outcomes,” Mr. Morgan said. He expressed the view that Jamaica could continue to benefit from the partnership offered by such entities as the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), adding that Jamaica and the OUR were privileged for the opportunity to showcase the country and the modern and efficient infrastructure being established in telecommunications.
Director General in the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, Karlene Francis, in declaring the forum opened, welcomed all the participants. She expressed the hope that many solutions and best practices would be posited by the presenters as they share their experiences and lessons of their respective countries.
“The government of Jamaica commends the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization for hosting the forum at this opportune time and appropriately choosing a theme that addresses the all important issue of ICT convergence and the potential role of the Next Generation Networks (NGN),” Miss Francis said.
The forum, which is being attended by participants from 35 Commonwealth countries, is being held from September 24- 26 under the theme: ‘Harnessing the potential of Next Generation Networks (NGNs) to facilitate ICT Convergence’.