Jamaica - Caribbean Telecommunications Union

Minister Responsible for Telecommunications:
DR. THE HON. ANDREW WHEATLEY
Minister of Science,  Energy and Technology
Permanent Secretary: MS. HILLARY ALEXANDER, JP
Telecommunications Officer:
MS. WAHKEEN MURRAY
Chief Technical Director
Contact Information:
36 Trafalgar Road
PCJ Bldg

Population: 2,758,124 (July 2006 est.)

GDP Per Capita: $4,500 (2005 est.)

Economy Overview

The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which now account for 60% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from remittances, tourism, and bauxite/alumina. The global economic slowdown, particularly after the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, stunted economic growth; the economy rebounded moderately in 2003-04, with brisk tourist seasons. But the economy faces serious long-term problems: high interest rates, increased foreign competition, exchange rate instability, a sizable merchandise trade deficit, large-scale unemployment and underemployment, and a growing stock of internal debt – the result of government bailouts to ailing sectors of the economy, most notably the financial sector in the mid-1990s. The ratio of debt to GDP is 135%. Inflation, previously a bright spot, is expected to remain in the double digits. Uncertain economic conditions have led to increased civil unrest, including gang violence fueled by the drug trade. In 2004, the government faced the difficult prospect of having to achieve fiscal discipline in order to maintain debt payments while simultaneously attacking a serious and growing crime problem that is hampering economic growth. Attempts at deficit control were derailed by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, which required substantial government spending to repair the damage. Despite the hurricane, tourism looks set to enjoy solid growth for the foreseeable future.

Communications

Telephone Main Lines in Use: 342,000 (2005)

Telephone Mobile Cellular: 2.7m (2005)

Telephone System: general assessment: fully automatic domestic telephone network
domestic: NA; international: country code – 1-876; satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); 3 coaxial submarine cables

Radio Broadcast System: AM 10, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television Broadcast System:  7 91997)

Internet Country Code: .jm

Internet Hosts: 1402 (2006)

Internet Users: 1,067m (2005)