Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, has emphasised that the country must accelerate the digital transformation process.
Taking part in a panel discussion at the inaugural Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) ‘G5 Symposium’, at the S Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James, on October 11, the State Minister said that in order to achieve that objective, Jamaicans must have reliable access to the internet and digital landscape to stimulate brain power and drive innovation.
“We need to ensure that our youth and the next generation are connected, so they can be able to compete in the changing world,” Mr. Terrelonge said.
He also noted that the playing field must be balanced between children living in urban and rural areas, as it is completely disadvantageous for children in the far regions of Jamaica who don’t have this [connectivity] experience, as they will never be able to compete in the modern world.
“So, it behoves all of us to ensure that the right technologies [and] the proper systems are in place, so that every single Jamaican child is actually connected,” he added.
The panel discussion themed: ‘Balancing Your Fiscal Space vs. Connecting the Underserved’, featured participants from a number of local telecommunication companies, including Digicel, FLOW and Ready TV as well as international companies, such as VIASAT.
The panelists engaged in discussions relating to public private-partnerships, industry flexibility, cost management in the industry, regulatory framework, resource mobilisation and strategies.
For her part, Minister of Science, Energy & Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, said that her Ministry is open to collaboration with private partners to boost digital infrastructure.
“I am going to make that conversation happen to see how we can collaborate,” the Minister said.
“The Government is here and willing. We have the objective of making Jamaica a digital and knowledge based society and we are going to make that happen,” she added.
The event was organised under the theme: ‘Improving Network & Digital Industry Regulations: The Sustainable Use of Spectrum’. It featured discussions on Digital Transformation, Value of Spectrum to Economic Growth and Development as well as Balancing your Fiscal Space vs. Connecting the Underserved.
The Spectrum Management Authority (“SMA” or “the Authority”) is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, which serves as national regulator for the radio frequency spectrum.