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Gov't to consider single regulator for ICT

Published:Tuesday | January 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Western Bureau:

The Government is to receive funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to hire a consultant to study the viability of a single regulator for the information communication technology (ICT) industry.

In acknowledging the planned funding, Julian Robinson, state minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, has indicated that the consultant will be selected from some 18 applicants who have expressed an interest in filling the post. The successful applicant is expected to be in place by March.

"We have established a six-month time frame for a report which will indicate the legislative and regulatory changes necessary to have a single ICT regulator," said Robinson while addressing Sunday's opening ceremony for the 30th annual general meeting (AGM) of the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organization (CANTO) in Montego Bay, St James.

"Once we have that report, we intend to go full speed ahead with implementation," added Robinson.

At present, oversight of the ICT sector is shared among the Spectrum Management Authority, the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica and the Office of Utilities Regulation. Going forward, the plan is to create a single regulatory agency to incorporate all the ICT-specific functions.

The four-day CANTO AGM, which started on Saturday and is being staged under the theme, 'Strategic Alliances for Sustainable Broadband Development', was designed to feature presentations on a wide range of topics, to including technology trends and its impact on the Caribbean; mobile financial services; and financing broadband infrastructure in the Caribbean.