Wheatley says number portability explanation weak

THE Opposition Spokesman on ICT and Digital Economy Development, Dr Andrew Wheatley, has criticised junior minister Julian Robinson's explanation of the further delays in implementing number portability as unacceptable and weak.

Responding to Robinson's explanation on his ministry's failure to implement number portability over two years, Dr Wheatley said that it was "totally unacceptable and weak".

"He could never be claiming that he was not aware of these issues two years ago, yet they have shifted the deadline four times. The only explanation must, therefore, be that the ministry is not serious about the issue and is also planning badly," he said.

The Opposition spokesman added that given the high number of persons who use mobile phones, compared to landline users, there is no reason why mobile number portability cannot proceed ahead of landline portability, especially when the majority of beneficiaries don't own a landline.

"Just under two million people use mobile phones, almost eight times the number of landline subscribers. As there is no technical reason why they can't be done at different times? Why should the majority of persons be held up for a small number of users?" Dr Wheatley asked

"In any event, what the Government should do is to stop talking and act by setting strict deadlines for the completion of both portability regimes, and hold the service providers accountable for meeting these deadlines," he proposed.

He said that number portability is about bringing greater benefits and freedom of choice to Jamaicans, saying if the Government was acting in the best interest of the people of Jamaica it would not allow the portability agenda to be delayed and dictated by any service provider.