“The Government is seeking to get baseline data as to the status of the country in terms of access to internet service, the level of penetration, and the use of computers,” he informed.
Mr. Paulwell was speaking with JIS News at the opening of the refurbished computer laboratory at the New Day Primary and Junior High School, in Kingston, recently.
The Minister said the purpose of the exercise is to accurately establish the level and access to IT services in the country, to provide international agencies that compile rankings of states with updated information on the current status of the country’s IT infrastructure.
The exercise will see officers of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) and the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, conducting field work and analysis of data, to determine the level of internet access across the country.
Mr. Paulwell said that the survey is expected to be completed by the end of the summer, and that it will take into account a variety of devices, such as desk top computers, laptop computers, tablets and smart phones.
The Minister noted that currently, Jamaica has a poor international ranking in IT, due to the lack of reporting on the work that is being done by the Government to improve access to information technology.
“For all the work that we have done through the Universal Service Fund, for example, the 200 computer access points (that have been established in secondary schools) across the island, our Tablets in School programme, and in the post offices. Those are not noted anywhere in the system,” he said.
“In addition to that, Jamaicans use a lot more wireless technology, because of how our telephone service has developed and the national bodies tend not to regard that in the same way they do as fixed services. So, we are trying to impress on them that being a wireless mobile country, they must take into account the utilization of wireless broadband, and access to smart phones, for which they previously did not show sufficient regard. So, all of these things we expect will sufficiently improve our ranking come the end of the year,” the Minister added.
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