Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has said that the government is working to create a productive Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry that will drive social and economic growth.
The industry, he said, will be supported by a legal and regulatory framework, which promotes universal access, social inclusiveness and competitiveness.
“ICTs will be the driver of economic and social development in this country,” Minister Vaz stated, as he addressed Flow’s fourth anniversary media breakfast held this morning (July 22) at the telecommunications provider’s St. Lucia Avenue headquarters in New Kingston.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz (centre), addresses Flow’s fourth anniversary media breakfast, held at the company’s St. Lucia Avenue headquarters in New Kingston this morning (July 22). Listening are President and Chief Operating Officer of Flow, Michele English, and Director of Commercial Services, Andrew Fazio.
According to the Technology Minister, ICT should be leveraged to transform Jamaica’s productive capacity, in the bid to achieve developed country status by 2030.
He said that all Jamaicans must be engaged in exploiting and reaping the benefits from the technology available and pledged to work “tirelessly” to support the best use of ICT in Jamaica, from software developers to bloggers and other content producers.
He noted that the government is of the view that expansion of broadband at greater speeds and bandwidth is a critical element in the building of a knowledge-based society. “We want to see ubiquitous and economic broadband access that is heavily utilised by everyone – children, senior citizens, laymen and professionals,” he stated.
He noted that “while we are happy to see the speeds at which we can now download information, the availability of broadband provides an opportunity to upload the wealth of the island’s culture, music, sports and cuisine”.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz (right), is greeted by Director of Commercial Services at Flow, Andrew Fazio. Occasion was the telecommunications provider’s fourth anniversary media breakfast, held this morning (July 22) at its St. Lucia Avenue headquarters in New Kingston.
“We are anxious to reverse the one-way traffic into cyber space with a view to capitalising on our natural resources,” he stated.
The Minister congratulated Flow on its achievements, as it continues to spread its operations across the island, and the wider region.
Flow, which provides a wide array of interactive telecommunications services, has invested some US$700 million in building communication infrastructure in Jamaica, informed President and Chief Operating Officer, Michele English.
She noted that there had been a 70 per cent reduction in the price of Internet service to residential consumers with Flow coming into the market, and a 78 per cent reduction for commercial consumers.
She said that in terms of world broadband pricing, Flow has the fourth lowest price on a per megabyte basis, out of 34 countries. She noted also that the company plans to invest some $80 million in a variety of educational, sports and cultural programmes across the island this year.