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  • Vice President of Wireless Business Unit at The Lewis Group (TLG), Norman Anderson, has said that wireless technology was critical to helping the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meet and overcome its challenges.
  • Mr. Anderson was addressing the Regional Telecommunications Conference organised by the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations (CANTO) in The Bahamas, just ahead of the recently concluded, 24th Meeting of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Montego Bay.
  • The application of wireless technology, he stressed, would aid economic and social development regionally, and in particular, rural renewal in the areas of education, health care, agriculture, and telecommuting.

Vice President of Wireless Business Unit at The Lewis Group (TLG), Norman Anderson, has said that wireless technology was critical to helping the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meet and overcome its challenges.
Mr. Anderson was addressing the Regional Telecommunications Conference organised by the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations (CANTO) in The Bahamas, just ahead of the recently concluded, 24th Meeting of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Montego Bay.
The application of wireless technology, he stressed, would aid economic and social development regionally, and in particular, rural renewal in the areas of education, health care, agriculture, and telecommuting.
Mr. Anderson’s suggestion came on the heels of the launch of two major projects by Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, to support the thrust to make Internet access available in all rural areas, and further the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as a major engine for investment and growth in the economy, and the development of the people.
The projects unveiled were, a US$17 million ICT project to increase the widespread use of the Internet by all Jamaicans, and a study on the use of the Internet in Jamaica, which was commissioned by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and undertaken by Market Research Services Limited (MRSL), a Jamaican full-service research company.
“Economic development as a mirror image of our most developed neighbour, the United States, has been largely illusive for regional countries,”Mr. Anderson said, adding that CARICOM, after 30 years, was still in its early stages of development, although it had long advanced a vision of sustained economic development for its people.
He noted that the small population of the individual member states made the water-divided region unattractive to large companies seeking rapid expansion in economies of high per capita incomes. Therefore, he suggested wireless technology, as “a key component in helping our countries meet and overcome the challenges”.
In his presentation titled, “Wireless Connectivity: A Key Component for Development in the Region”, Mr. Anderson stated that wireless technology facilitated communication without the limitation of distance, while supporting learning, through distance interactive teaching; and health care, through specialist in city hospitals communicating with rural centres, assisting in performing operations and giving consultations.
In the area of Agriculture, the region can benefit through the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS), which navigates the earth, providing location specific information that allows farmers to plough, harvest, map their fields and areas of disease; and telecommuting, through wireless to remote areas, allowing workers to remain in their rural communities, thereby stemming the rural to urban drift.
In a technological leap, he said, “wireless technology is taking us further and faster. No longer are we limited by physical location, restricted by vast capital outlay or constrained by protracted delays in contracting infrastructure”, adding that once a promise, the reality of wireless now offered gains to humanity and the development of countries, which were previously imagined, but now being realised.
The need for widespread use of wireless technology within CARICOM was also emphasised by Director General in the Ministry of Commerce, Science and Technology, Camella Rhone, at the media briefing for journalists held prior to the 24th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting.”Within our countries we have a digital divide; across countries we have digital divide and within CARICOM there is digital divide,” she said, adding that these needed to be bridged.
The Director General said that CARICOM’s connectivity agenda, which began in February this year, would be examining ways in which it might pull the region together as a people. The programme aims to use ICT to develop the cultural diversity of the region, while adding value for economic development.

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