Roundup: for the week ending 13 April 2014

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region during the period Monday 7 April to Sunday 13 April 2014.

Monday, 7 April 2014

BTC agrees to compensation packages after outage

Bahamas – Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) offered $1.7 million in total compensation to its customers to apologize for a recent service disruption… more

Lyford Cay International School set to launch STEM Initiative

Bahamas – When grade six Bahamian students are discussing how to get mobile devices into the hands of school age children across The Bahamas the impact of a school with a strong Information and Communications Technology (ICT) curriculum becomes apparent… more

‘Cuban Twitter’ One Of Many Illegal US Programs In The Island, Says Government Press

Cuba – “Cuban Twitter” or Zunzuneo, the social media platform secretly funded and designed by the US government revealed by the Associated Press last week, is actually one of several such programs aimed at fomenting unrest and regime change in the island nation, a Cuban official said over the weekend… more

Major telecom snaps up two local providers for US$1.8B

Dominican Republic – The Dominican Telecom Institute (Indotel) on Saturday approved the acquisition of the telephone company Orange Dominicana by Altice Dominican Republic… more

Telecommunications companies to upgrade Internet services

Jamaica – Telecommunication companies Digicel Jamaica and LIME have indicated that they will be upgrading their Internet services to provide users with improved access… more

OAS Digitalizes And Catalogues 2.5 Million Vital Statistics Records In Six Eastern Caribbean Countries

Regional – The Organization of American States (OAS), through its Universal Civil Identity Program in the Americas (PUICA), has completed a project to assist the civil registries in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to digitalize vital statistical information… more

Suriname ICT-Week (Source CTU)Suriname hosts Caribbean leaders’ regional technology development meeting

Regional – Caribbean leaders will meet in Suriname this week to push forward the region’s technology development agenda. The South American country will host an executive meeting of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) on April 8 and 9 at the Hotel Krasnapolsky, Paramaribo… more

Hilton, TSTT employees stage protest outside Labour Ministry

Trinidad and Tobago – Failure to provide personal protective clothing for Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) employees and a call to reinstate 60 Hilton Trinidad employees were two of the major grouses raised by Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) secretary general John Julien… more

Holistic Primary becoming tech savvy

Trinidad and Tobago – Holistic Primary School’s multimedia production team made up of nine-year-old pupils was on hand to record the recent presentation of iPads by blink | bmobile to the school… more

Trafficking in Trinbago App Goes Live

Trinidad and Tobago – Situated just off the coast of Venezuela, the islands of Trinidad and Tobago have become a popular point for illegal activities on the trail from South America, bound for North America. Unfortunately, one of these is human trafficking… more

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Statement on UPP phone and electronic canvassing

Antigua and Barbuda – In response to issues raised by members of the public that they had been harassed by political telephone calls and texts late at night, and that these individuals’ contact details had been obtained without their permission, the UPP would like to clarify its own position regarding telephone and electronic communications… more

AG urges BTC to ‘get its act together’

Bahamas – Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson yesterday called on the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to “get its act together”… more

‘Revolt’ Pledge Over BTC Outsource Claims

Bahamas – A union leader yesterday promised “a revolt” if the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) tried to outsource even one job, as company insiders suggested there was “a lot of truth” to claims it is planning to move key back office functions offshore… more

Senator calls secret Cuba Twitter plan ‘cockamamie’

Cuba – A Twitter-like Cuban social media network that the U.S. government built to stir unrest was a “cockamamie” idea doomed to discovery and failure, the chairman of a Senate panel that oversees the U.S. Agency for International Development declared Tuesday… more

Indotel approves sale of Orange Dominicana to Altice

Dominican Republic – Dominican Republic regulator Indotel has approved the acquisition of Orange Domincana by Altice Republica Domnicana… more

Columbus-communications logo (Source SLU News Online)Moody’s upgrades Columbus bond ratings

Regional – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Columbus International Inc’s corporate family rating to B2 from B3. At the same time, Moody’s upgraded the ratings on the company’s US$640 million bond due November 2014 and assigned a B2 rating to its new US$1.25 billion bond maturing in 2021… more

Children from St Vincent and the Grenadines to benefit from 12,500 free laptops

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – More than 12,500 children from the tiny Caribbean nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines will be given brand new laptops in an effort to encourage the island’s economy… more

Exploring Trinidad & Tobago’s Digital Divide (Part 1)

Trinidad and Tobago – Data collection in the Caribbean has traditionally been a clunky exercise, heavily dependent on phone calls and focus groups – but ever since mSurvey (a mobile surveys company which started in Kenya) set up shop in Trinidad and Tobago, the region has started to experience data collection very differently… more

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Rebuttal by BTC Chair & Deputy Chair

Bahamas – The Board of BTC notes the recent speculation regarding possible job losses within BTC and wishes to confirm that there are no such plans to restructure the business. This message has been shared with our Union partners… more

No BTC Deal ‘Quid Pro Quo’ On Outsourcing

Bahamas – The head of the Government’s negotiating team yesterday “categorically” denied that they agreed “a quid pro quo” that would see hundreds of Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) jobs outsourced in return for regaining majority control… more

Union ‘Vehemently Opposed’ To Digicel

Bahamas – A union leader yesterday reiterated his “vehement opposition” to cellular giant Digicel winning a licence to operate in the Bahamas, arguing that Bahamians had enough expertise to enter the industry themselves… more

Digicel announces more plans including free data weekends

British Virgin Islands – Digicel BVI today (April 9) announced a variety of special Easter treats for its customers… more

Dominican Republic auctions 900 MHz, 1700-2100 MHz spectrum

Dominican Republic – Dominican Republic regulator Indotel has launched a spectrum tender for provision of public telecommunications services… more

girls-in-ICT-day 2014 (Source: ITU)Girls in ICT day

Guyana – The National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) yesterday held a Tech Day Camp at the New Amsterdam Multilateral Secondary School, Region Six in observance of Girls in ICT day slated for April 24, and intended to empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)… more

$28 Million for Technology and Innovation Project

Jamaica – Some $28 million has been earmarked in the country’s 2014/15 budget to fund activities aimed at improving the levels of innovation in the Caribbean, by building and strengthening capacities in science, technology, and innovation… more

LIME to back technology incubator

Jamaica – PLANS are underway for telecoms company LIME to back a technology incubator that will focus on application and software development as the telecommunications giant is currently engaging other private firms to contribute to the retrofitting of an office space in Kingston… more

‘Heartbleed’ – a new online bug puts Internet users accounts at risk

Saint Kitts and Nevis  – A new online bug dubbed ‘Heartbleed’ has popular social, email and websites scrambling to implement new security measures to protect their user’s accounts from being hacked… more

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Local tech expert- security threat over-hyped

 Antigua & Barbuda – A local technology expert is downplaying a global call by several tech firms for people to change all their passwords after the discovery of a major security flaw… more

BTC board denies outsourcing claims

Bahamas – The board of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) yesterday denied a claim by Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash that there are plans to restructure the company… more

Minnis: BTC Cannot Outsource Without Government Permission

Bahamas – FNM LEADER Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday the Bahamas Telecommunications Company cannot outsource Bahamian jobs overseas without the current government’s permission… more

Triple Play Provider’s Purchase Has ‘No Limits’

Bahamas – A Bahamian triple play communications provider last night said it was poised to become “the Caribbean headquarters” for its new majority owner, with local staff numbers increasing to 100 within 12 months of the deal’s closing… more Communications Workers Union gives update on negotiations at B.T.L.

Belize – While the P.U.P. is calling Anwar Barrow’s appointment at B.T.L. an act of nepotism, the Belize Communications Workers Union is throwing bouquets at Barrow… more

BCWU and BTL reach collective bargaining agreement

Belize – The collective bargaining negotiations between the Belize Communications Workers’ Union (BCWU) and Belize Telemedia Ltd (BTL) began in June 2013… more

B.T.L. Employees Trust comment on pending judgment on nationalization of Telemedia

Belize – Justice delayed is justice denied… This afternoon, the B.T.L. Employees Trust issued a statement in respect of a long pending judgment on the constitutionality of the second nationalization of Telemedia which was argued back in October 2012… more

Windows XP users advised to take urgent action

Dominica – Computer owners who use Windows XP SP3 are being advised to take urgent measures to ensure that their computers are protected following Microsoft’s Office announcement that its support for Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014… more

Orange Divests Dominican Asset

Dominican Republic – After almost nine months of issuing the initial tender to sell its Dominican unit, Orange has divested its operations in the Central American nation to Luxembourg-based Altice for $1.4 billion. The news boosted the stock price as it ended 2.31% higher on Wednesday trade on NYSE… more

Mobile company in Haiti brings back ex-CEO

Haiti – Haiti’s biggest employer has brought back a former chief executive to run Digicel Group Ltd… more

21-y-o sentenced for lottery scamming

Jamaica – Twenty-one-year-old Marlon Davis of Grange Pen in Lilliput, St James was sentenced to four years on Lottery scamming charges when he appeared in the St James Circuit Court on Thursday… more

Digicel announces huge jump in subscribers

Jamaica – Telecommunications company, Digicel, has announced a 150 per cent growth in subscribers on its 4th generation network, using mobile data, in the last year… more

http://www.itu.intITU Telecom Young Innovators Competition

Regional – Ooredoo and ITU, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology are looking for the most promising tech start-ups aimed at inspiring the creation, aggregation or digitization of local content, particularly in non-Latin scripts… more

Digicel CASHBACK Shifts Gear to Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Digicel’s CASHBACK Promotion continued its Media Tour and headed to the beautiful sister island of Nevis on Wednesday 9th April, 2014… more

LIME to Begin Internet Upgrades to Address Congestion Issues

Saint Kitts and Nevis  – After months of service slowdowns, LIME Internet customers are to finally get some relief.  The company is beginning upgrades next week.  Marketing Manager Kevin Edwards said Thursday that work would begin in the most populated communities first … more

TSTT launches upgraded e-tender service Company tops $800 million in tenders

Trinidad and Tobago – OVER the past year TSTT has issued over 100 public tenders exceeding the value of TT$ 800 million to local, regional and international suppliers… more

Friday, 11 April 2014

Cable ‘Uniquely Positioned’ For Cellular Offer

Bahamas – Cable Bahamas has effectively confirmed it will bid on this nation’s second cellular licence whenever the auction process begins, its $350 million network investment making it “uniquely positioned to offer first class mobile services to the Bahamian people”… more

A friendly invitation to Google

Cayman Islands – Dear Google, We really like what you’ve been doing to the Internet lately. And we want to see that innovation brought to the Cayman Islands… more

Acquired Dominican telecoms ‘fit Altice’s strategy perfectly’

Dominican Republic – Telecom giant Altice SA on Wednesday announced it has completed its acquisition of Orange Dominicana for around 1.4 billion euros… more

Haiti – Politic : The CONATEL call to order radio stations…

Haiti – In a statement dated April 8, the Executive Board of the National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL) notes that “some radio stations, in violation of the provisions of the Penal Code and the laws and regulations of telecommunications, broadcasting systematically false information likely to disturb public order, to destabilize the institutions of the Republic and to undermine the integrity of many citizens” … more

Digicel Aims To Double ICT Business

Jamaica – Digicel Jamaica has seen a greater than 50 per cent rise in ICT revenues in the financial year just ended, with ICT now making up more than 10 per cent of the company’s revenue base, according to its top executive… more

Digital Jam 3.0 Mobile Camp April 11-13

Jamaica – The successful staging of the Digital Jam 3.0 Apps competition (Caribbean Edition) in March, has set the stage for the hosting a Mobile Camp… more

LIME Jamaica Makes Big Bet On AWS Spectrum

Jamaica – The new 15-year licences and spectrum acquired by the top two mobile phone providers will position both to deploy fourth-generation broadband services at higher speed, but LIME Jamaica has chosen to buy spectrum at a higher frequency… more

Mobile money closer to reality

Jamaica – Local mobile money facilitator, Transcel Limited has moved closer to bringing its service to the Jamaican market. The company recently closed a successful round of investment, securing capital to implement its service launch in Jamaica and to expand to other Caribbean markets… more

St Catherine MP donates e-learning aids to schools

Jamaica –  Member of Parliament for St Catherine South Central, Dr Andrew Wheatley, has launched an initiative, which will see students attending schools in his constituency benefiting from greater incorporation of ICT platforms in their education… more

whatsApp logo (Source Apple)WhatsApp driving mobile data boom

Jamaica – DIGICEL says it has nearly a million mobile phone users actively using data on devices in Jamaica, against the background of a “massive explosion” in demand for WhatsApp and other mobile data platforms… more

Overuse of smartphones and other devices may damage eyes

Regional – Opticians are concerned that overexposure to light from electronic devices could increase the risk of eye problems… more

DECT cordless phones are illegal in St. Martin

Saint Martin – L’Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR) reminds the public that certain types of cordless phones, specifically those designated Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phones do not conform to European norms and cannot be used in St. Martin and St. Barths… more

T&T closer to Internet Exchange Point

Trinidad and Tobago – The Board of the T&T Internet Exchange (TTIX) has entered into a hosting agreement with Fujitsu Caribbean (Trinidad) Limited, moving one step closer to development of an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) for T&T… more

Saturday, 12 April 2014

BCWU wins pay increase for BTL workers

Belize – State-owned telecom company Belize Telemedia Limited has been involved in negotiations with the Belize Communications Workers’ Union (BCWU) over the latest collective bargaining agreement for workers… more

Haiti – Politic : Mirlande Manigat reacted to the call to order of CONATEL

Haiti – Responding to the call to order of the National Telecommunications Council (CONATEL) concerning misinformation made by some radio stations, Mrs. Manigat, General Secretary of the Rally of Progressive National Democrats (RDNP) [part of the “Patriotic Movement of the Democratic Opposition” (MOPOD), which includes the main opposition party], is surprised that CONATEL, which refers to a decree which according to her is manifestly unconstitutional and violates the fundamental freedoms of the press… more

Flow’s US$1.25bn bond oversubscribed

Trinidad and Tobago – Columbus International Inc – the cable, internet and fixed line telephone company better known as Flow – on Monday (April 7) said in a release that its US$1.25 billion fundraising exercise on the international bond market was oversubscribed… more

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Grand Caribe Belize’s New Website Launched by Belize Internet Marketing

Belize – Grand Caribe Resort Belize announces the launch of their new website. Belize Internet Marketing has launched the new site for this beautiful, modern luxury Resort… more

Tech Tips: Risks And Options With Windows XP

Regional – Microsoft is saying goodbye to Windows XP… more


Image credits:  CTU;  SLU News Online;  ITU;  Belize Web;  ITU;  Apple iTunes;