Paulwell: Caribbean’s Goal Should Be “Affordable and Ubiquitous” Broadband

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - August 12, 2013

Above: Minister Phillip Paulwell

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Digicel’s recent move to abolish regional roaming fees was “commendable,” but the Caribbean’s true goal should be “affordable and ubiquitous broadband Internet access,” according to Jamaican Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell.

The Minister was speaking in an address to the Caribbean ICT Ministers’ Forum last week.

“Although having those fees abolished will enable and encourage greater inter-regional communication, today I challenge Caribbean peoples, Governments and telecoms operators alike: let us begin to think beyond voice telephony,” he said. “Let us divest ourselves of this pre-occupation with voice and pursue what really should be our true goal: affordable and ubiquitous broadband Internet access.”

A 10 percent rise in market penetration of broadband services would correlate to an average GDP increase of 3.2 percent, he said, with a corresponding productivity boost of 2.6 percent.

“We also know that greater access to broadband offers greater public engagement in national decision making, reduced bureaucracy, improved transparency and accountability in government, increased social inclusion and the creation of a knowledge based society,” he said.

Paulwell said ICT, or information and communication technology, was a developmental tool “that should be widely accessible, affordable and utilized by our people.”

But in the Caribbean, fixed broadband penetration ranges from less than 2 percent in Guyana to 21 percent in Barbados. That is compared to a mobile penetration rate that is more than 100 percent in countries like Jamaica.

“We know that ICTs have the power to truly make the world “flat”; that in the very near future, access to broadband Internet will be the most important factor in whether and how much nations and people will be prepared to participate fully in the global knowledge-based digital society,” he said.

Popular Posts all-inclusive montego bay resort by marriott

Marriott Just Opened Its New All-Inclusive Resort in Montego Bay 

Marriott has continued its rapid expansion into the Caribbean all-inclusive space with the debut of its newest adults-only resort in Montego Bay: the new Hideaway at Royalton Blue Waters, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort.  The 352-room resort is part of […]

Yes, You Can Stay at an All-Inclusive Resort in St Thomas, USVI

the beach at the bolongo bay resort

The Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas may be the most popular all-inclusive resort you’ve never heard of. It’s not that the resort itself isn’t well-known: this family-run and managed, beach resort has been in business since 1974. But […]

A New Way to Fly Nonstop to the Turks and Caicos Islands

beach at the palms in providenciales

While Silver Airways has been steadily expanding its network in the Caribbean out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, it’s easy to forget that the carrier is actually based in South Florida.  For years, Silver has been operating a host of […]

Related Posts montego bay marriott on the resort beach

United Airlines Adding More Flights to Nassau, Montego Bay 

United Airlines has a big expansion planned for the winter season in the Caribbean, Caribbean Journal has learned.  The airline is planning to increase its Latin America-Caribbean network by 25 percent for the peak travel season in the region, anchored […]

Wyndham Debuts New Look at Puerto Vallarta All-Inclusive 

puerto vallarta all-inclusive

The new-look, renamed Wyndham Alltra Vallarta all-inclusive has made its debut in the Nuevo Vallarta area just north of Puerto Vallarta.  Playa Hotels and Resorts says the property has undergone a renovation that amounted to a “significant investment,” with an […]

This Caribbean Home Just Listed for $65 Million 

The home is on the market now for $65m

It’s one of the most expensive listings in the Caribbean right now: a seven-bedroom beachfront estate that just hit the market for $65 million, Caribbean Journal Invest has learned.  The 11,625-square-foot home, called Illawarra House, is set on a 0.92-acre […]


Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

No. Thank You