Spectrum Management Authority to lobby for new legislation
The Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) will be lobbying for new legislation to advance the digital industry.
Speaking with JIS News at the SMA’s G5 Symposium on Friday at the S Hotel in Montego Bay, St James Managing Director of SMA, Dr Maria Myers-Hamilton, emphasised the need to update legislation to tackle current spectrum policy and regulatory issues.
She said this will allow for a more efficient transition to digitisation and connectivity of the local spectrum landscape, as well as facilitate improved regulation and management of the digital industry.
“One of the things we have heard is we have outdated regulations. We have an Act that is from 1973. We have legislation sitting there that is holding back persons. So, a lot of work needs to be done. We need to move at a faster rate in terms of putting in, and tabling the legislation [and] driving the economy,”Myers-Hamilton argued.
“As the experts in the field, because we are the advisors to the Minister when it comes to radio frequency, we are moving toward the writing of policy and recommendations to the Ministry to consider change,” she added.
She further noted that the transition from analogue to digital systems will allow for more investment and expansion in the market, and this will provide stronger connectivity to Jamaicans living in both urban and rural areas.
“The Government of Jamaica has to sit down around the table with stakeholders once again and decide how we move forward. I think we have a lot of critical data which we are going to be encapsulating in a report from our rapporteurs that we will put toward to the Government and the Ministry, to effect policy and change going forward,” Myers-Hamilton said.
For his part, Chairman of eGOV Jamaica Limited Professor Lloyd Waller said that the symposium brought public-private partners together, where stakeholders “identified synergies and challenges” that currently exist in the industry.
He said raising awareness about the importance of the spectrum is essential to the development of Jamaica.
The Spectrum Management Authority is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and serves as the national regulator for the radio frequency spectrum, facilitating expansion in the number of radio and free-to-air television stations as well as the liberalisation of the telecommunication sector.