JIS News

Minister of Information and Development, Colin Campbell, has said that within the next 12 to 18 months, a single regulator should be in place for the media and communications industry.
“It is estimated that within 12 to 18 months, Jamaica will have a new vibrant single regulator that will manage the entire telecommunications and broadcasting environment, dealing with the issues of licensing, universal service obligation standards and of course, the most important issue of content,” he said.
The Information Minister, who was addressing the opening of the Caribbean Media Conference and Expo this morning (Sept. 6) at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, informed that two studies have been conducted on the matter and the government had a suit of recommendations, which it has started to consider.
He informed that come next Monday (September 11), final considerations would be given to these proposals in Cabinet.
According to the Information Minister, the provision of a single regulator would promote, encourage and foster innovation in the telecommunications sector, which was realising unprecedented growth.
“In Jamaica, the combined telecoms media market is now reaching approximately $100 billion in value, an almost unbelievable figure since we liberalised the media in the early 1990s and the telecoms industry in 1999,” he said.
“One estimate puts the combined radio, television and newspaper advertising market at over $6 billion per year and up to first quarter this year, in excess of $700 million was spent,” he further informed.
Meanwhile, Senator Campbell called on media stakeholders to take advantage of the changes that were being compelled by the technological revolution.
He noted that some large media companies were still not migrating to emerging media formats but were still utilising older ones. “The convergence of technology has created a plethora of options that are supported by government policy and are helping to reshape the cost factor,” he pointed out.
The two-day conference, which is held under the theme: ‘Convergence and expansion moving forward,’ has attracted media and telecommunications personnel from across the Caribbean.