A Single Watchdog For Jamaican ICT?


Above: State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Julian Robinson

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica’s information and communication technology sector is currently overseen by a range of government agencies, including the Spectrum Management Authority (SMA), the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) and the Office of Utilities Regulation.

In a bid to streamline regulation of an industry that is seen as more and more important by the government, State Minister for Technology Julian Robinson is proposing the creation of a single ICT watchdog.

“If you are an investor in the ICT sector, it means that you have to interface with three separate organizations and in many cases, they operate independently of each other,” he said this week. “It is an inefficient way to operate, it slows our ability to get goods and services to market.”
Having a single regulator, he said, would “ensure that we operate more efficiently and effectively, and in a more cost-effective manner.”

On the ICT front, Jamaica is also making an effort to tackle the problem of cyber crime, he said, with a review of the 2010 Cyber Crimes Act to make prosecuting such crimes easier.

“Cyber crimes are now becoming a feature of transnational crimes. We, here in Jamaica, have suffered at the hands of cyber crimes,” he said. “We have held a number of consultations, we have established a joint Parliamentary committee, and we have gotten submissions from stakeholders, both within and outside of Jamaica, and those amendments will be made shortly.”


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