JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is committed to bringing more competition to the telecommunications landscape in order to reduce the cost of internet access.
  • The Minister was speaking on November 20, at the official opening of the Bull Savannah Primary School Information Technology Centre, on the school grounds in St. Elizabeth.
  • The Universal Service Fund equipped the centre with 24 computers and related equipment at a cost of $4.5 million.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the Government is committed to bringing more competition to the telecommunications landscape in order to reduce the cost of internet access, which he maintains, is far too high.

He said that part of the reason for liberalizing the sector in the first place was to ensure that every Jamaican has access to technology “to not only learn better but to use that access to create wealth and employment.”

“I am not pleased that we, at this time, do not have this access, as I believe that the cost is too high. We need to have broadband technology so that we can use this as the means by which we get data transferred and we have access to such data.

“I am committed to introducing another player in Jamaica’s telecommunications landscape,” Minister Paulwell stated.

He was speaking on November 20, at the official opening of the Bull Savannah Primary School Information Technology Centre, on the school grounds in St. Elizabeth.

The Universal Service Fund, an agency of the Ministry, equipped the centre with 24 computers and related equipment at a cost of $4.5 million, while construction of the facility was undertaken through the collaborative efforts of past students of the institution and the businesses community.

Minister Paulwell said that Government’s contribution to the project is part of a mandate given to him by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, to make computer technology accessible to all Jamaicans.

“We have created an institution (Universal Service Fund) through which we have been investing in the high schools, the libraries and other institutions, because we want every Jamaican to have access to technology,” he stated.

He said that information technology has the potential to “literally transform the country” as it has done in so many other countries around the world.

“We want, therefore, to create a level of development so that the future of our country will not rest on just one or two sectors.  We want to have broad-based development involving all the sectors,” Minister Paulwell said.

He said he is pleased with the level of partnership surrounding the project and urged the residents, who will benefit, to cooperate and care for the equipment for the benefit of the entire community.

Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Fund, Hugh Cross, made a commitment to pay all monthly internet fees for the computer centre.