Jamaica secures IDB funds to assist in regulating ICT sector

The functions of the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), Broadcasting Commission, and Spectrum Management Authority, are being merged to create the single agency.

State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, Julian Robinson, said  the preparatory work would entails mapping out a framework to guide how a single regulating entity will operate, what the organisational structure will entail, and the necessary legislative amendments required.

“The consultant should finish the work by about June (or) July, and then we will be in a position to determine how we move forward in implementing the single regulator, from a cost, legislative, and organisational capacity perspective (s),” Robinson said.

He said the creation of a single regulator would establish one point of contact, where investors can access all of the requisite information pertaining to establishing an operation.

“We hope it will drive, primarily, innovation in a sector which we regard as being the platform for moving Jamaica forward in innovation,”  Robinson added.

The OUR specifically regulates activities and developments related to utilities, such as water and electricity. The Broadcasting Commission deals with content, primarily for radio and television, while the Spectrum Management Authority has responsibility for allocating frequencies and licences for the operations of entities, such as mobile service providers.

“The challenge with that is when you have three regulators regulating an industry, it is terribly inefficient (and) you have some overlapping jurisdiction. It is difficult for investors to move quickly, in terms of getting products and services to the market,”  Robinson said.

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