Background

Jamaica Online was formed in 1994 as a provider of Information and Internet Services and solutions in Kingston Jamaica. A little known fact is that JOL was the first commercial Internet Service Provider in Jamaica – initially connected to the Internet via a dedicated dial-up connection from the University of the West Indies. Since its inception Jamaica Online has been a leader in the deployment of innovative and cost effective computer and communications technologies with a key motivation being the establishment of facilities to make emerging technological developments available to fellow Jamaicans. In addition Jamaica Online has always promoted and fostered educational uses of the Internet – based on the belief that the Jamaican youth needed to be effectively trained in new information technologies in order to be able to compete in the global market place.

The founding directors are Dr. Haniph A. Latchman and Mr. Maurice McNaughton, who have a long and outstanding academic and professional partnership. McNaughton and Latchman began their collaborative efforts as 12 year olds at St. Jago High School in Spanish Town where they finished at the top of the class in both O and A levels, winning coveted Scholarshps to study Engineering in St. Augustine Trinidad. They both pursued the same course of study in Electrical Engineering with specializations in Power, Electronics and Communications and were rewarded with 1st Class Honors degrees from UWI.

Latchman and McNaughton returned to Jamaica from Trinidad in the summer of 1981 and began working for the Jamaica Telephone Company and the Jamaica Public Service Company respectively as sharp young engineers. Within a short time McNaughton ended up also at the Jamaica Telephone Company with both Latchman and McNaughton again in the same office as Transmission Engineers. In 1983 Latchman was selected as the Jamaica Rhodes Scholar and McNaughton was awarded the prestigious Philips Scholarship so that again these outstanding Jamaicans were together in Europe pursuing advanced degrees in Systems Theory and Communications. Latchman returned to the Jamaica Telephone Company in 1986 and shortly thereafter accepted a professorial appointment at the University of Florida’s Electrical Engineering Department where he has been for the past 12 years. McNaughton on the other hand worked for Alcan Jamaica Ltd., and then again for the Jamaica Telephone Company, later returning to the Jamaica Public Service Company as its Chief Information Officer.

Jamaica Online was the product of discussions between these two life long colleagues on the question of a meaningful joint business venture which would contribute some benefit to their beloved country. Jamaica Online Information Services Ltd., was thus registered in 1994 as a provider of information and internet services, products and solutions. The company provided hardware and software as well as consulting services in addition to dial-up Internet services. From the beginning the model for the company  was to automate as many administrative functions as possible, to minimize overheads and to maintain a low cost offering to reach ordinary Jamaica citizens and small businesses.

The Internet services of Jamaica Online have been from their inception built on low-cost but robust equipment and systems. For example, at the outset the JOL directors perceived the effectiveness and utility of operating their Internet services using low cost personal computers with the Linux operating system. Using such systems in conjunction with integrated terminal servers Jamaica Online was able to offer effective Internet solutions using initially dial-up connections from the University of the West Indies and then later a shared dedicated connection via N5 systems. JOL later connected to the Internet via a two-way satellite system operated by N5 systems and then in 1999 switched to leased connection via Cable and Wireless Jamaica.

Jamaica Online is a privately held company (Latchman and McNaughton being the major share holders) and it’s development and growth to date has been slow and deliberate, with the direction and financial backing of its founding directors. Today if you mention the words Internet and Jamaica (either in conversation or via search engines in cyberspace) invariably the result is a convergence to Jamaica Online. The company clearly enjoys strategic advantage of name recognition and good will among Jamaicans at home and abroad.

JOL was the first ISP to advocate the use of the .jm suffix rather that US-like domains. Thus they insisted that their servers should have a Jamaican identity www.jol.com.jm even if for reasons of expediency and convenience other domains such as jaonline.com were also used.

Our Vision

Jamaica Online will emerge as the most visible and recognizable icon within the on-line Jamaican cyber community, and will manifest its signature theme of 'Reaching Jamaicans Everywhere'. We will maintain a reputation for a being low-cost provider, with a high degree of technical innovation.

Our Mission

Directed by a world class management team and a strong focus on Customer Service, Jamaica Online will continue to:

  • Facilitate the growth of the Internet in Jamaica through the provision of low-cost, innovative technological solutions to individual and business enterprises;
  • Participate in the broad-based application of Internet Technology to support Educational development and opportunity in Jamaica;
  • Play a significant role in the growth of an online Jamaican cyber-community which consistently maintains an indigenous Jamaican "look and feel" in order to appeal to, and capture the interest and imagination of the Jamaican Diaspora

Jamaica Online (JOL) is registered with the Registrar of Companies in Kingston Jamaica as Jamaica Online Information Services Limited.

Our registered offices are at Suite #5, 22 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica West Indies. JOL is also represented in US by our affiliate Qualitech Computer Services at 8310 NW 4th PL, Gainesville, FL 32607.

Important telephone numbers are as follows:

  • Jamaica Phone Contact: (876) 978 2490-3
  • Jamaica Fax Contact: (876) 978-2494
  • US Phone Contact: (321) 206-4950
  • US Fax Contact: (860) 371-3277

Online Contacts

  • email: info@jaonline.net

    Send Your Comments to:
    info@jaonline.net

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