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.
1 Nov 2018 |
The verification process of educational credentials in the Caribbean will now be faster after the regional examinations body announced it will begin offering blockchain-based certificates and diplomas to selected candidates.
The e-certificates will be received via the free and open-source Blockcerts Wallet which is not only used for storing and sharing, but also for verifying the performance of candidates in examinations administered by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Currently, the examining body offers educational certifications to sixteen English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean region.
Issuing of the Blockcerts will be done using the federated issuing system of the Learning Machine which is an enterprise platform designed for multinationals as well as countries that need to digitise the issuance as well as verification of official records.
2 Nov 2018 |
For the electronic management of cases, an Integrated Electronic Litigation (e-Litigation) system is being implemented by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), within all courts in all the nine-member Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) for the electronic management of cases.
The e-Litigation solution is a web-based application that will provide court users and stakeholders with access to assigned services anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
This portal is supposed to serve as a platform to improve the delivery of justice to the citizens of the region, and contribute towards increasing the transparency of court services, allowing the ECSC to improve access of its services to stakeholders.
6 Nov 2018 |
Governments in the region have explored the use of educational technologies to address some of these challenges. Latin American ministries of education have spent over USD$2 billion on digital devices to improve education since 2008. However, these investments have typically led to limited improvements in learning performance.
The Improving Digital Education in Latin America initiative, coordinated by Centro Ceibal para el Estudio de las Tecnologías Digitales en la Educación (Fundación Ceibal), aims to generate relevant policy knowledge to facilitate more inclusive, equitable and quality education through digital tools. It will build a network of researchers and policy makers to produce knowledge and recommendations to inform policy and interventions in digital education.
The International Development Research Center (IDRC) will invest CAD$ 1.3 million during the 3 years of the project, while Fundación Ceibal and the National Research and Innovation Agency of Uruguay (ANII), will be contributing USD$1.5 million during the same period to support solution-oriented knowledge on some of the issues identified by the project.
1 Oct 2018 |
The Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) will join the blockchain revolution by opening up a market for crypto-assets soon, BSE Managing Director Marlon Yarde has revealed. The stock exchange is anticipating regulatory approval for the trade in securitized digital tokens, while proceeding on a three-prong plan to boost the exchange’s global profile, he said. Crypto-asset is the umbrella term for a digital asset or token which uses cryptography, peer-to-peer networking, and a public ledger to regulate the creation of new units, verify
transactions, and secure the transactions without a middleman’s intervention. “With the onset of [the] tokenization revolution, the BSE is focused on facilitating and trading of those securitized tokens.”
11 Oct 2018 |
During Internet Week Trinidad and Tobago, held by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), Google, the Internet Society, the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Registry (LACNIC), and the Ministry of Public Administration, parallel capacity building sessions were held. CaribNOG hosted its 16th regional meeting focused mainly on cybersecurity. Joint workshops by LACNIC and Google aimed to enhance local connectivity and strengthen the ecosystem for entrepreneurs. A LACNIC-Google two-day workshop covered the basics of Internet connectivity and traffic optimisation. The Internet Society highlighted the organisation’s ongoing global work in establishing community networks and strengthening the resiliency of telecommunications and computer networks. LACNIC led a closed-door cybersecurity workshop with the support of the office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, seeking to address emerging cybersecurity issues across the region and to establish computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs).
16 Oct 2018 |
Three Caribbean candidates—Peter Harrison, Alicia Trotman and Kerrie-Ann Richards—have been elected to leadership roles at the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN). ARIN is one of five Internet registries worldwide that coordinate the distribution and administration of number resources. The registry serves the United States, Canada and several territories in the Caribbean. “The Caribbean should be very proud of the achievement of Peter, Alicia and Kerrie-Ann in the ARIN elections. They are all highly qualified to serve, each possessing both the technical knowledge and firm grasp of the unique dynamics of the ARIN community in the Caribbean. I expect they will make a positive impact on ARIN, its diverse community and more broadly on development of the Internet in the region,” said Bevil Wooding, Caribbean Outreach Liaison at ARIN. All elected candidates will serve a three-year term, starting from January 1, 2019.
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.