Aligning Jordan's telecommunications infrastructure with world-class standards as a prerequisite for a thriving information technology (IT) industry was the main theme highlighted at another technical strategy workshop recently held at the Zara Convention Center, a statement by the REACH Initiative said.
Sponsored by Int@j and the information technology sector in Jordan, the “Link Access” workshop is the 10th in a series of 12 technical workshops that come on the heels of REACH 2.0, a review process of the REACH Initiative launched early.
Speaking to representatives of Jordan's IT industry and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) and Jordan Telecommunications Company (JTC), Jim Miller, an AMIR Program consultant, explained that “the challenges facing up-grading Jordan's telecommunications infrastructure are of three folds: regulatory, economic and technological.”
As far as regulatory issues are concerned, Miller pointed out that JTC, TRC and the IT industry need to join efforts to decide on the best approach to make available high-speed telecommunication lines to IT companies and hammer out the pertinent regulatory clauses.
Reflecting on the economic concern, Miller pointed out that the prime issue in this connection has to do with providing competitive pricing by the TRC and JTC as it relates to the future accelerated development of the IT industry in Jordan.
While highlighting the link access-induced thorny issues that need to be addressed by all parties, Miller touched on the experiences of other countries in the field of deregulating the telecommunications environment.
In this regard, Miller cited the 1984 deregulation of the telecommunications company in the United States (AT&T) as part of a process to shift from regulated to market economy. Miller pointed out that to compensate AT&T from losses resulting from such a measure, a “Common Line Charge” was imposed on phone calls to generate the necessary revenues.
Reflecting on the quality and cost of telecommunication service offered in Jordan as opposed to international standards, Ramzi Kawar, of Int@j said, “ In the Philippines, a 1.5 mbps connection costs $3,000 a month. In the US a 45 mbps connection ranges between $6,000 and $25,000 a month and 1.5 mbps as low as $500. In Jordan, today, the rate for a 2 mbps connection is around $32,000, ten times the cost in the Philippines and 60-fold the US rate.” ― ( Jordan Times )
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