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Story Highlights

  • Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, is calling for realignment of the cable and telecommunications sector, in order to bring enlightened access to the global society.
  • Speaking specifically about Jamaica, the Minister said the Government is taking steps to ensure that the people are on the right side of the digital divide.
  • Welcoming members of the CCTA for its first ever meeting in Jamaica, the Minister emphasised that the association is a very important element in the development and future sustainability of the cable and telecommunications industry.

Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, is calling for realignment of the cable and telecommunications sector, in order to bring enlightened access to the global society.

“Despite the remarkable progress in the globalized communications environment, there continues to be obsolete, lop-sided models that are not appropriate for a society with new and different demands for enlightened access,” the Minister noted.

“By enlightened access, I am not only talking about the availability and use of technology, but a higher level of access. It involves the creation of a digitally literate society, where consumers interact with content that not only shape and reinforces national values, but showcases the best of our culture,” she added.

The Minister was addressing a luncheon of the 32nd Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Cable and Telecommunications Association, (CCTA), at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, on February 4.

Speaking specifically about Jamaica, the Minister said the Government is taking steps to ensure that the people are on the right side of the digital divide.

“As a Government we are pursuing digital switch over and are engaged in a process of legislative reforms to impact the industry. Some of the provisions of the legislative changes include an expanded flexible definition of broadcasting, to capture not only traditional, but new and evolving services, platforms and services; greater protection of cultural diversities and the protection of indigenous high quality content, through the establishment of the local public service content fund to finance more local productions of a non-commercial nature,” she added.

Welcoming members of the CCTA for its first ever meeting in Jamaica, the Minister emphasised that the association is a very important element in the development and future sustainability of the cable and telecommunications industry.

She said the meeting is taking place at a time when the Cable and Telecommunications sector is undergoing monumental and rapid changes, which makes it difficult to define the parameters of the industry.

“There is extensive integration of tools, techniques and technologies. There are multiple accesses to communications on common platforms, greater speed, more immediate transfers of ideas, with a constant inter-play of societies and cultures. It is appropriate that the theme of your conference is ‘Riding the waves of the Future’. It is an optimistic outlook of the transformation which is on the way,” the Minister added.

Senator Falconer reminded the audience that the cable and telecommunications world is always in a change mode, with competitors becoming partners, content purveyors becoming content providers,  and down-loaders becoming up-loaders.

“We welcome these changes in the environment and must embrace them with creativity, flexibility and responsiveness. In a climate where the value of content is being undermined by piracy and access is constrained by obsolete release windows…riding the waves demand that this industry and its business processes be characterised by an ethos of innovation and cooperation,” the Minister said.

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