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JAMAICA | Robinson wants Task Force to examine Universal Service Fund, USF

Featured  Opposition Spokesman on Technology Julian Robinson Opposition Spokesman on Technology Julian Robinson
Opposition Spokesman on Technology Julian Robinson, wants the government to establish a task force to examine the state of the Universal Service Fund (USF) which he says has suffered a plunge in revenue.
 
In his sectoral presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday,  Robinson, a former Technology Minister, expressed concern that over the last four fiscal years, the Fund's revenues have fallen by more than 57 per cent to $675 million in 2018/19. 
 
The nose-dive in revenue is due to a decline in voice calls.
 
He said he was concerned that the Universal Service Fund was spending more than it is earning and could result in the depletion of the entity's funds over the next five years.
 
He believes that a task force will provide crucial answers on the future of the USF by deciphering whether the Fund has been meeting its objectives. 
 
In his presentation, the former technology minister asked a number of questions about the USF and its functionality, such as, "What ways have the ICT needs of the population changed over the last 14 years and is the USF the best vehicle through which these needs should be met?"
 
In addition, he questioned whether the focus of the USF needs to change "in order to reflect the current and future needs of the nation's under-served communities." 
 
He also asked what alternatives for revenue generation are available to continue to viability of the fund, given its current trajectory.  
 
The Universal Service Fund earns revenue from a levy imposed on international calls terminating on local networks.
 
 
  • Countries: Jamaica

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