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Tuesday, July 11, 2006 

Presentation on ICT Issues and Regional Integration

At the recent World Telecommunications Day of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union(CTU) Symposium, held from Wednesday,May 17 - 19 at the Hilton, Kingston,Dr Hopeton Dunn,Director of the Telecommunications Policy and Management Programme at the Mona School of Business, delivered the feature presentation on 'ICT Issues and Regional Integration'.

This presentation was made within the framework of the Caribbean nations moving towards the Caribbean and Single Market(CSM) and the different challenges they face in light of a rapidly changing global context.

He prefaced his presentation with facts about the Telecommunications industry as the largest and fastest growing industry globally and how its characterized by technology that utilizes a 2-3 year transition cycle with a tendency to experience 'early core technology obsolescence'.

Additionally, much re-investment and staff re-training within the industry have become critical success factors for its viability.

In year 2000, total subscription to mobile telephony was 43.1% while fixed line subscription was 56.9%. In year 2005, mobile telephone subscribers increased to 59.3% while fixed line holders were reduced to 40.7%:almost an inversion of the year 2000 figures.

In a short time span, a global mobile revolution has affected the way we live and how we will continually choose to live in the future. Other technological advancements and innovations such as the introduction of Skype software being utilized by many users with Voice over IP technology(VoIP), have reduced call charges between Skype users to $0.

Data, used as a telecommunication growth indicator, has shown signs of increased revenues from US$850 billion to US$1.1 trillion from year 1999 to year 2003. Between years 2001 and 2003,broadband subsription worldwidehas increased by a rate of approximately 4% annually. With China about to overtake the USA in the worldwide Internet market, the leaders of the Caribbean region must be more aggressive in utilizing more proactive strategies for catching up the rest of the world in these fast-paced global trends.

Teleworking/telecommuting are viable options for persons who want to work from the sweet comforts of home, but how viable is that deviation within the Jamaican context? How easily assured will the Jamaican employer be of getting work with high quality and standards that will be delivered on time from an employee while there are distractions around such as World Cup Football(2006) and World Cup Cricket that will be hosted in Jamaica in 2007?

On the road to regional integration, regional policy makers, decisionmakers,private,public,civil society must place these critical ICT issues at the top of their agenda and work collaboratively to bridge the technological gap that presently exist between the developed and developing countries.

/content/admin/documents/CTU Symposium_2006_Telecommunications_Presentation_by_Dr._Hopeton_Dunn.pdf

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