Effective immediately, provision of telecommunication services to the Montego Bay Free Zone will be open to full competition, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell has announced.
"This will no doubt entice investors to consider Jamaica as a premier ICT/Business Process Outsourcing destination, knowing that we are committed to their economic success, and to maintaining a regulatory framework that supports fair service competition," a release from the Ministry quoted Paulwell as saying.
According to the Ministry, previously, Jamaica Digiport International Limited (JDI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LIME Jamaica, held two licences – the Free Trade Zone Carrier Licence 2000 and the Free Trade Zone Service Provider Licence 2000.
Those licences gave JDI the right to be the exclusive provider of telecommunications services to the Montego Bay Free Zone, as well as to own and operate licenced facilities in any free zone.
JDI has voluntarily relinquished the two licences, which were originally due to expire in March 2015.
"This development marks the last phase of the liberalization of the telecommunications industry, which was started in 1999,” Paulwell said.
“I wish to congratulate LIME for acceding to the government's request to relinquish its exclusivity,” the Minister added.
Paulwell said he would be issuing new licences to JDI in short order, and that other interested telecommunications service providers can now vie for contracts to provide telecommunications services to companies within Jamaica's free zones.
“Today marks an important day for investment in Jamaica, as this is a progressive stride that galvanizes the government's push toward full competition, universal access and, most importantly, job creation," the Minister said.