Prior to 1950, Jordan had a very undeveloped infrastructure and the remarkable improvements that have
|Country||Newspapers||Radios||TV Sets a||Cable subscribers a||Mobile Phones a||Fax Machines a||Personal Computers a||Internet Hosts b||Internet Users b|
|a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.|
|b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.|
|SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.|
been made over the last 50 years have largely been shaped by the ever-changing politics and geography of the Middle East. Before 1948, Jordan's trade was almost entirely dependent on the port of Haifa, which was in Palestine at the time. However, Haifa was captured by the Israelis in 1948, and Jordan was forced to develop its own port at Aqaba. The peace treaty signed between Jordan and Israel in 1994 made Jordan a main route linking the Middle East to the Mediterranean and, therefore, a major trading hub. There are 2 major roads in Jordan, the north-south Desert Highway from Amman to Al Aqabah and the east-west highway from Al Mafraq to the Iraqi border. Jordan is a very small country that can be driven across in 5 hours, but in spite of its size, the country has a 6,200 kilometer (3,852 mile) road network. In addition, Jordan has a very small rail system that is used only for transporting raw materials to the southern port of Aqaba. There are 3 main airports, Queen Alia International Airport, 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Amman; the old international airport at Marka; and King Abdullah Airport in Amman, used primarily by the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
The telecommunications sector was partially privatized in 1995 and currently Jordan enjoys a thoroughly modern communications system. Many people use cellular phones and pagers, and Internet access is widespread. In 1999, roughly 60,000 Jordanians owned mobile phones. In 2000 this number increased to 100,000. Forecasters have predicted that by the end of 2002 there will be 800,000 users. There were 403,000 main telephone lines in use in 1997.
Over 98 percent of the Jordanian population has access to electricity, and the demand for it has been growing at a rate of 10 percent in recent years. In 1999 total electrical energy production was 6.9 million kilowatt hours (kWh), and over 90 percent of this energy is supplied by the state-owned National Electric Power Company. Industry is the largest consumer at 34 percent of total production, and domestic consumption is the second largest consumer at 31 percent. Jordan has entered into a multilateral agreement with Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon whereby electricity supplies will be taken from neighboring countries when domestic demand rises above domestic supply.