Roundup: for the week ending 4 September 2011

This is a roundup of the ICT/technology news across the Caribbean region during the period Monday 29 August to Sunday 4 September 2011.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Cuba will soon begin to use Venezuelan fiber optic cable

Cuba – Over the next few months, Cuba will begin using the 1,600 km-long submarine fiber optic cable linking the island to Venezuela and Jamaica, according to official sources, PL news reported… more

$53m for students’ laptops

Trinidad & Tobago – Leading Chinese computer manufacturing firm, Lenovo, has received the contract to provide approximately 17,300 laptops for students entering Form One in September… more

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

BTC averts cellular meltdown

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company is still trying to assess how many Bahamians weathered Hurricane Irene with working phones — though executives assert that, for the most part, 80 percent of customers had service… more

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

BTC Contributes $2Million In Hurricane Relief

Bahamas – BTC today announced extensive relief efforts towards rebuilding The Bahamas following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene.  The Company has pledged $250,000 to support the relief and restoration efforts and up to $1.9 million in free mobile and landline credit targeted mainly at customers in the hardest hit islands of Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island & Long Cay, Long Island, Cat Island, Eleuthera and Abaco… more

BTC unveils $2M relief program

Bahamas – Bahamians and the Family Islands in particular will be the beneficiary of more than $2 million in relief from the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), with technology giant pledging $1.9 million in credits and $250,000 to support the aid and restoration efforts… more

Digicel-Claro Deal Approved With Limits Attached

Jamaica – Jamaica has approved Digicel’s acquisition of Claro Jamaica, but Prime Minister Bruce Golding said Tuesday that it is on the proviso that Digicel continues operating two separate networks, in what is meant to be a check on the market leader’s dominance… more

PM: Claro would have left anyway

Jamaica – THE Government’s decision to approve the acquisition of Claro by its mobile rival Digicel was influenced by a number of factors, among them information that Claro would have pulled out of Jamaica regardless of the administration’s decision… more

Paulwell, Vaz on Digicel-Claro merger

Jamaica – Opposition Spokesman on Telecommunication Phillip Paulwell said he hopes that the prime minister will announce more favourable conditions regarding the Digicel-Claro merger when he provides more details on the deal next month… more

LIME welcomes PM’s plan to update telecoms laws

Jamaica – Telecommunications company LIME, today endorsed Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s statement to introduce emergency legislation to address the outdated telecoms regulations in Jamaica… more

Thursday, 1 September 2011

More workers leave BTC

Bahamas – Another wave of voluntary separation package (VSEP) takers left the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) yesterday, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Marlon Johnson confirmed during a press conference at BTC’s headquarters on JFK Drive… more

Damage to BTC towers causing service problems

Bahamas ­– While only 20 percent of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) cellular customers went offline due to damage from Hurricane Irene, damaged and powerless cellular towers are now causing intermittent dropped calls and dead zones across The Bahamas, vice president of sales and marketing Marlon Johnson said yesterday… more

Senators to get first look at tower regulation bill today

St. Thomas, USVI – The Senate’s Planning and Environmental Protection Committee will take up a bill today to provide new rules and regulations for communications towers in the territory… more

Friday, 2 September 2011

Telecom rivals sign interconnection agreement

Belize – The two dominant telecommunications firms, Belize Telemedia Ltd., owners of DigiCell® mobile services and Speednet Communications, owners of SMART®, have signed an interconnection agreement which has brought some level of peace to an already intense public battle… more

Online poll: Mixed opinions on telecom tapping

Cayman Islands – Although about half of the 447 respondents to last week’s online poll at least generally support the government’s ability to intercept telecommunications of the public as a way of fighting crime, almost as many people oppose the idea… more

Regional broadcasters worried about switch to digital

Barbados – The Barbados-based secretariat of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) is now earnestly making efforts to pull together a meeting of broadcasters, regulators and policy makers to establish an approach to how they will manage the huge costs that will be faced by broadcasters and consumers when the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting is mandated for the Caribbean in a few years… more

St. Kitts and Nevis boasts highest fixed broadband subscription rates in Latin America and the Caribbean

St. Kitts and Nevis – An international report says St. Kitts and Nevis boasts the highest fixed broadband subscription rates in the Latin American/Caribbean region and even higher than some developed economies… more

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Feds demand progress or will withhold funds

St. Thomas, USVI – Next Generation Network officials have one month to assure the federal government they have a plan of action to meet the territory’s broadband grant requirements – or risk losing millions in federal funds… more

Sunday, 4 September 2011

– nil –