What were the main digital policy regional updates in the Caribbean? This space brings you the main updates month by month, summarised by the observatory's curators.
Follow the GIP's April briefing on Internet governance, which will include updates from the Caribbean region during April. Register to attend.
4 Sep 2018 |
SES has announced that the high-powered all-electric SES-14 satellite, is now serving Latin America, the Caribbean, and other regions.
SES-14's wide beams and high throughput capabilities are serving various markets. The satellite is expanding the reach of SES's second cable neighbourhood in Latin America, providing new capacity for direct-to-home services. Moreover, it delivers more high-speed connectivity to the dynamic aeronautical market and other traffic-intensive applications in the maritime and cellular backhaul markets.
5 Sep 2018 |
Under an historic public-private partnerships (PPP) arrangement, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have decided to collaborate to build out of their broadband infrastructure, contracting Digicel to undertake the work. The signing of the contracts will take place on Wednesday 26th September 2018 during the Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s (CTU) ICT Week – St. Kitts and Nevis.
These broadband network build outs constitute key elements of the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP), a regional approach to public infrastructure development funded by the World Bank’s International Development Association and coordinated by the CTU.
This initiative aims to provide connectivity to all government offices and schools in each country.
19 Sep 2018 |
The 4th ITU Regional Frequency Coordination Meeting for Central America and Caribbean Region took place in Belize City, on 11-14 September 2018. This was the last of four meetings coordinated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in collaboration with other organisations, which established the basis for formal frequency coordination inter-government agreements for broadcasting and mobile services in the VHF and UHF bands.
The Director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau, Mr François Rancy, indicated that 'The Digital Switch Over enables the release of the Digital Dividend, the implementation of which is a major step in reducing the digital divide and probably involves the most important decisions taken by regulators to ensure that mobile broadband is available to all populations at an affordable price'.
The outputs of these meetings facilitate the region's transition from analog to Digital Terrestrial Television and the allocation of the Digital Dividend.
8 Aug 2018 |
Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago’s (TSTT) Vice President Supply Chain, Keino Cox shared some insights and expertise gained from deploying blockchain for its home-grown E-Tender solution at CANTO's 34th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition in Panama. The E-Tender Software as a service facility is an online market forum for buyers and sellers, specifically to receive information on and respond to projects in the area of procurement for public or private tenders.
8 Aug 2018 |
The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) announced that during their 31 July 2018 Board of Trustees meeting, ARIN Trustees unanimously agreed to appoint Ms Regenie Fräser to serve a one-year term on the ARIN Board of Trustees effective 1 January 2019, and in observer status in the interim period. The appointment is part of the ARIN Trustees ongoing commitment to have diversity on the board and fulfills the April Call for Volunteers of Caribbean background.
14 Aug 2018 |
Barbados-based fintech startup Bitt Inc. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS). The parties signed the MOU in order to develop a central bank digital currency to facilitate financial payments within the monetary union of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Per the announcement, the bank is looking to ‘reduce the level of cash usage within the monetary union’ and facilitate ‘more secure, more Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) compliant’ transactions between the islands.
14 Aug 2018 |
Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere’s least connected countries. There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration. Cuba’s government provided free Internet to more than 5 million mobile phones in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.
26 Jul 2018 |
Sky and Space Global (ASX:SAS), is stepping up its efforts to bring nano-satellite based communications to the Caribbean. The company is in discussions with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), offering to bring a full range of connectivity services to the Caribbean region which currently lacks the necessary infrastructure.
In 2017, SAS successfully launched its ’3 Diamonds’ nano-satellites as a proof of concept, with the timetable calling for the launch of 200 nano-satellites beginning next year, with full scale deployment by 2020.
Meir Moalem, chief executive and managing director of SAS said, ‘Providing affordable connectivity to the unconnected is key for driving digital inclusion and economic growth in the developing world and for tackling poverty and improving education and healthcare.’
SAS, says its nano-satellite narrowband services to the Caribbean region would be provided by its Pearls constellation once deployment commences in 2019.
10 Jul 2018 |
During the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) 39th Regular Meeting held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) announced the signing of the Protocol Amending the Treaty Establishing the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority ECTEL.
The announcement was made by Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, and will be presented to the prime ministers of the other ECTEL Member States - Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines - for consideration and signature.
This protocol aims to address the innumerable changes and issues (such as convergence between services, networks and technologies, quality of service, consumer protection, and more affordable access to retail and wholesale telecommunications services) which have taken place in the telecommunications industry since the signing of the treaty establishing ECTEL eighteen years ago.
This protocol acts as a prerequisite for the promulgation of the Electronic Communications Bill and a new suite of regulations paving the way for ECTEL to address the many issues facing the telecommunications market today.
2 Jul 2018 |
Within the framework of the ICANN 62 meeting in Panama (link is external), the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC (link is external)) and the Latin American and Caribbean Country Code Top Level Domain Organization (LACTLD (link is external)), signed an agreement allowing LACNIC to use LACTLD's (link is external) Anycast Cloud as DNS infrastructure. The signing took place on 27 June.
This agreement is another collaboration initiative between the two organisations and complements the agreement signed in December 2016 through which LACNIC participates in the administration of this project.
LACTLD's Anycast Cloud is a regional co-operation effort through which Latin America and the Caribbean’s Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) seek to enhance Internet robustness and resilience in the region.
25 Jun 2018 |
The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in Jamaica has announced that approximately 5000 smallholder farmers will benefit from technical and technological expertise to increase their capacity in implementing climate-smart agricultural practices. The farmers will be involved in a project entitled, ‘Accelerating the Uptake of Climatesmart Agriculture in selected African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries’ which is being implemented in Jamaica, Mali and Ethiopia, over a two-year period. The project is aimed at promoting the incorporation of information communications technology (ICT) tools as an element of climate-smart agriculture, and the widespread adoption of climate-smart practices that are aligned with national priorities, in an effort to improve the resilience of the agriculture sector, enhance productivity and food security, and secure the income of smallholder farmers.
20 Jun 2018 |
A Trinidadian woman who falsely claimed on Facebook that a female prison officer had abandoned her children on the roadside, must pay USD$75 000 in compensation for defamation, along with the legal costs ensured by the falsely accused prison officer. The judgement was handed down by Justice Margaret Mohammed in the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain. It is the second such judgement this year related to defamation on social media.
14 Jun 2018 |
The Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Forum (CarPIF) 2018 held in Belize focused on network resilience and autonomy. Bevil Wooding, Co Founder, Carpif remarked, ’Typically we would consider how to improve connections between network operators, or to get more content on local networks. But we had a 2017 Hurricane season that has left a scar on the region and we have the 2018 hurricane season that is upon us.’ This meeting looked at the role that peering plays in improving and increasing network resilience, making the networks that deliver these critical services more robust, more secure and more reliable; and what needs to happen at local and regional levels to confirm that the correct steps are taken in ensuring that the networks can rebound after a natural disaster, or withstand a cyber-attack or some other external unexpected shock.
13 Jun 2018 |
St Lucia's Department of the Public Service launched the Open Data portal on 8 June 2018. The open data process started some four years ago as part of the World Bank Open Data in the Caribbean initiative, with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The online data repository, data.govt.lc aims to ensure that all government-owned data, which does not contain personal information or create a threat to national security, is made freely available in an easily reusable format.
11 May 2018 |
The Caribbean Digital Finance and Free Trade System, CariNet, has been officially launched, applying blockchain technology to help the member countries of the Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (FTA) build digital payments and digital financial infrastructures in order to create a platform for international trade. To meet the security demands of digital payments and financial systems, the CariNet Main Net plans to introduce national nodes to supervise the whole blockchain network in order for it to develop in a credible and orderly direction. The operation of the CariNet Main Net is supported from the nodes. The 15 Caribbean FTA member countries will establish a data node respectively. The establishment of CariNet is expected to bring new developments to the declining financial industry in the Caribbean by transforming the traditional tax-avoidance offshore finance, into blockchain digital finance.
8 May 2018 |
Financial institutions in Caribbean territories under the jurisdiction of the European Union are gearing up to implement the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)by 25 May, when the regulation becomes effective.Under the GDPR, individuals have the right to access and review their personal data and ask the company collecting the information for changes, also having the right to move the data collected to another entity.The regulations will go into effect in the Caribbean’s Dutch, French and British territories, all of which fall under EU jurisdiction.Caribbean financial leaders met to discuss GDPR compliance in Suriname at an eventinitiated by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU)and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
3 May 2018 |
Incarib, the only directory of Caribbean infrastructure suppliers, was launched in CHARLOTTE AMALIE, US Virgin Islands on 3 May, serving as a resource bridging the gap between private sector suppliers and government, utility and regional development agencies. Ms Lauren Thomas, Directory's Developer and Owner, said ‘Globally, the conversation has turned toward building sustainable and climate resilient infrastructure. For Caribbeancountries, it's at the top of the agenda. However, decision makers aren't always aware of state-of-the-art solutions and technologies and they don't have immediate access to the expertise. On the other hand, companies that do business or want to do business in the region in this space often find it difficult to get in front of the decision makers. InCarib bridges the gap.’InCarib.netis hoping that every company that is dedicated to enabling, sustaining, and improving Caribbean living conditions will register to get listed by visiting the website and completing the application. The site is live while the directory is being populated and will be fully operational by August 2018.