3rd Quarter Cancion Magazine -2012
Connecting the Unconnected in the Caribbean Where are we now?
In 2000, the global community made commitments to reduce poverty. These commitments were manifested in the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Goal number eight “A Global Partnership for Development”, and target six, speaks to making the benefits of technology, particularly information technology available to all. The connectivity target set by the World Summit on the Information Society, to connect the unconnected by 2015 is based on this MDG target. We are three years away from the 2015 deadline, so it is an opportune time to take stock of where we are from a Caribbean perspective.
A Record Number of ICT Ministers Attend CANTO 2012 in Miami!
Fourteen (14) ICT government ministers, three(3) government representatives and the Honourable Perry Gladstone Christie, Prime Minister of Bahamas joined close to 600 delegates at CANTO’s 28th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition held at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, Florida from 22-27 July 2012. The popular annual conference and trade exhibition also known as CANTO 2012 is the Caribbean’s premier telecommunications event for industry professionals, academics and regional governments. This year, the theme was “Accelerating broadband in the Caribbean - Transforming the way we live.” CANTO 2012 was held on the heels of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Connect the Americas Summit in Panama, which took place from the 17-19 of July. Connect the Americas is part of ITU's Connect the World Series, an ambitious initiative aimed at connecting the unconnected by the year 2015.
Creating New Spectrum for Mobile Network Operators
Wireless communication holds out tremendous prospects for growth and innovation in the 21st Century. Within the Caribbean, there is urgent need to start the process of making new spectrum available and to harmonise bands regionally as far as is possible. This is because there are long lead times (typically at least several years) required to make changes to spectrum allocations. We need to ensure that there is enough spectrum available to meet growing customer demand going forward. In our region we require a regulatory environment that promotes spectrum availability. The harmonisation of bands is another important element. Harmonisation is required to promote the interoperability of services and to make it possible to benefit from the subsequently realisable economies of scale and therefore lower prices in terms of network equipment and terminals. Lower costs will enable greater network coverage and mean that more citizens will be able to afford the end user devices they need to make use of the services that will be provided. While there has been some progress at the planning level in this regard more needs to be done in terms of implementation.