JIS News

Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, said yesterday (May 1) that the country has done “remarkably well” in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), with liberalization of the sector having fundamentally impacted development.
Prime Minister, who was making her contribution to the 2007/08 Budget Debate in Gordon House, noted that over the period 2000 to March 2006, the island’s three largest telecommunications companies have invested an estimated $88 billion in the industry. The investment has resulted in a rapid growth in internet access and cell phone use, even in remote areas.
“Who could have imagined that by 2004, internet access in Jamaica would have grown so rapidly to over one million users.that cellular subscribers would have increased from 70,000 in 2000 to 2.2 million in 2006?” she asked, noting that the total telephone penetration rate of mobile and fixed telephones in Jamaica is 95 per cent, which is among the highest levels of teledensity in the world.
“Today, communication within our shores and with the rest of the world is quick, efficient and affordable,” she added.
Pointing to other achievements in the area of ICT, the Prime Minister mentioned the billion-dollar E-learning project, which she said is “paving the way for every single secondary school in Jamaica, to have access to interactive education and knowledge, virtually at the touch of a button.”
She noted further that the concept of e-governance was enabling increasing numbers of people to access government services quickly and cost-effectively. “There is growing use of electronic transactions, which make business easier, thousands of new jobs have been created, the cost of telecoms services has been reduced, and a whole new range of business opportunities have been introduced,” she pointed out.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said that Jamaica now had the social platform to shape the future for economic expansion, with the ease and affordable cost of voice and data having improved communication across the board, and positively impacting business and family life.

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