Roundup: for the week ending 28 December 2014

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 22 December to 28 December 2014.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Broadband for all

Barbados – Barbadians unable to have access to robust fixed Internet service can expect to have this remedied before yearend 2015, regardless of whether they live in small outlying communities such as Greenidges in St Lucy or Lynches, St Philip… more

TECH TIMES – LIME Launches The Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Jamaica – On December 11, telecommunications firm LIME hosted ‘The Experience’, the highly anticipated one-on-one review and introduction for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 at the LIME Carlton Super Store. The telecoms company has the exclusive rights to sell the Samsung Galaxy Note 4… more

TECH TIMES – Microsoft Jamaica Presents Breakfast Seminar On Azure

Jamaica – Cloud Computing has become a worldwide technological phenomenon. It acts as a centralised data-storage or network-sharing resource for individuals and large organisations… more

I didn’t know how to switch off phone

Trinidad and Tobago – Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) for Tobago, Peter Reyes said yesterday he did not know how to switch off his cellular phone, which caused him to run afoul of flight regulations on a flight from Trinidad to Tobago last Thursday… more

Central cops searching for six cable thieves

Trinidad and Tobago – CENTRAL Division police officers are searching for at least six men suspected in the theft of thousands of dollars worth of underground cables in Central Trinidad… more

Trinidad police investigating incident that delayed CAL flight

Trinidad and Tobago – Trinidad and Tobago Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said he has ordered a probe into reports that a senior police officer was removed on a flight to Tobago after he failed to follow orders to switch off his mobile telephone… more

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Cable Relaunches 27% Pay-TV Price Rise Bid

Bahamas – Cable Bahamas has relaunched its bid for a 27 per cent increase in the price of its basic pay-TV package, after unveiling a compromise that seems to have (for the moment) won over the regulators… more

FNM Deputy Can’t Back Cable Rise

Bahamas – THE FNM’s deputy leader yesterday said he could not support Cable Bahamas’ bid for a 27 per cent increase in the price of its basic pay-TV package, suggesting it delay this for “another year or so”… more

Govt Set To Publish ‘Open Web Shop’ List

Bahamas – The Government is preparing to post a list of web shops that have qualified to remain open during the transition to a legalised industry, the Minister of Tourism said yesterday… more BTC doesn’t have to unbundle

Bahamas – Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) will not be required to unbundle its broadband Internet and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services for the foreseeable future, according to Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) Director of Policy and Regulation Stephen Bereaux… more

BCB wins US$48 mil arbitration award against GOB

Belize – The Barrow administration appropriated a US$22.5 million loan to Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) held by an Ashcroft bank in the Turks & Caicos when it nationalized the phone company—a move which sparked both litigation in Belize’s domestic courts and a legal challenge under the UK-Belize Bilateral Investment Treaty… more

Why GOB is challenging Telemedia arbitration

Belize – Last week we told you of the Government of Belize’s intent to challenge a decision handed down on Friday by a panel of international arbitrators, based in Costa Rica, which ordered GOB to repay the British Caribbean Bank Limited US$41,773,096.04, the amount loaned plus interest to Belize Telemedia Limited in 2007 to buy back its own shares… more

Bodden outburst linked to phone charges

Cayman Islands – A disagreement over reimbursement for cellphone charges apparently led to a Dec. 10 expletive-packed tirade by Cayman Islands Minister Osbourne Bodden against his chief officer that was overheard by at least 20 to 30 staff members, according to government emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Law… more

Job agency says website troubles tackled

Cayman Islands – The NWDA has been wrestling with gremlins on its website which a spokesperson from the agency said had posed difficulties for its clients accessing their account or registering online… more

Minister and chief officer dispute over mobile phone use

Cayman Islands – A disagreement over reimbursement for cell phone charges appears to have led to the heated argument between Cabinet Minister Hon. Osbourne Bodden and Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn… more

Interference and fraud, towards a bilateral solution…

Haiti – Jean Marie Guillaume, Director Genral of the National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL), at the head of delegation recently visited the headquarters of the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (INDOTEL), in order to meet his counterpart Dominican Gedeon Santos, as part of a workshop on interference caused by mobile telephony and audiovisual services and telephone fraud… more

Crooks steal LIME cable in Hellshire worth $2m

Jamaica – Police have launched a manhunt for criminals, who stole more than 400 metres of cable valuing some $2 million belonging to telephone company LIME, along the Hellshire main road in St Catherine over the weekend… more

Digicel/Claro merger in order, court rules

Jamaica – THE Court of Appeal has ruled that the merger of telecoms providers Digicel and Claro was in keeping with provisions of the Telecommunications Act and does not fall within the Fair Competition Act (FCA)… more

LETTER OF THE DAY – LIME’s Proposed Mail Change An Obscenity

Jamaica – THE EDITOR, Sir: I received in late November a letter dated November 1, 2014 addressed to ‘Dear Valued Customer’ from Martin Roos, the CEO of LIME Caribbean. The letter accompanied a telephone bill… more

Smartphones hot for Christmas

Jamaica – WHETHER shoppers are looking for the perfect gift this Christmas or just upgrading their mobile phones, TELECOMS company, Digicel, reported yesterday that customers purchased more than 60,000 smartphones in its stores across the island in the month of November only… more

Cop Refuses To Turn Off Telephone, Delays CAL Flight

Trinidad and Tobago – Trinidad’s Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said he ordered a probe into reports that a senior police officer had been removed on a flight to Tobago after he failed to follow orders to switch off his mobile telephone… more

Marac gets high-speed Internet

Trinidad and Tobago – Marac Village in Moruga may not have the best cellular and telephone reception due to its towering mountains, but the southern paradise can now boast of high-speed internet access… more

Online shopping: boon and challenge

Trinidad and Tobago – Since the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago, technology has transformed economies for the better. But, with the computer revolution and the rise of the Internet a mere quarter-century ago, business models that worked for decades have had to be revamped… more

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Barbados flagBarbados regulators to examine merger between CWC and Columbus International

Barbados – The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) says it is inviting submissions from service providers, businesses as well as representatives of consumer groups on the merits and demerits of the proposed multi-billion dollar merger between the British telecommunications company, Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International… more

LIME to continue free paper bills

Jamaica – TELECOMS company LIME yesterday said that it will not implement the planned paper bills fee announced recently that triggered widespread protest… more

Stop The Vandals! Telecoms Firms Urge Tougher Sanctions For Copper Cable Theft

Jamaica – LIME Jamaica is suggesting it is time to hit back after being plagued by copper cable thieves for more than a decade… more

CWC links with Deezer for music streaming

Regional – Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) announced yesterday that it has signed a unique partnership with Deezer, one of the world’s leading music streaming service providers. With over 35 million songs to choose from, Deezer has the largest digital music library in Latin America and the Caribbean… more

CWC Welcomes Cuba From The Cold

Regional – Cable and Wireless Caribbean is salivating at the prospect of greater connectivity and bigger business as Cuba comes in from the cold after 50 years of United States-imposed isolation… more

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Government aims to improve efficiency with launch of Web portal

Antigua and Barbuda – The government of Antigua & Barbuda will launch a new Web portal in 2015, which is geared towards improving its efficiency… more

Cable Bahamas makes application to the electronic communications sector regulator for price increase

Bahamas – The first is an application for approval to permanently increase the current monthly prices of its basic residential and commercial pay TV services, marketed as “REVTV Prime” and “REVTV Business Prime” respectively in areas where CBL offers multiple pay TV packages… more

OBSERVER READERS’ COMMENTS – Innovation, can it be the alchemy of our economy?

Jamaica – Strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth has eluded us over the past decades. Policymakers must be deeply disturbed as to why we are stuck into economic torpor… more

Hyatt to Offer Free Wi-Fi at All Hotels

Regional – Wi-Fi is no longer a privilege or an amenity — it’ s now a necessity for travelers, and one of the world’s top hotel brands has announced a plan to offer free Wi-Fi at all of its hotels… more

Company honours commitment with Christmas launch

Trinidad and Tobago – “LADIES and gentlemen, Tobago is in the lead, with speed. Tobago now has the best of two worlds; a tranquil beautiful island paradise and a cyber-world moving at full speed and offering first- class services.” … more

Friday, 26 December 2014

OPTIC provides support to Christmas operation with *462 line

Dominican Republic – he Presidential Communication and Information Technology Office (OPTIC) offered support to the “Safe Christmas for the Values 2014 – 2015” operation, by linking its *462 line to the Emergency Operations Center (COE)… more

Fostering Innovation

Jamaica – The National Innovation Awards in Science and Technology again brought into national focus the importance of innovation for the growth and development of Jamaica… more

Saturday, 27 December 2014

– Nil –

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Telecom shake-up

Trinidad and Tobago – The existing regulations governing the telecommunications sector in T&T are enough to regulate the sector’s expansion and there is no need for changes, said Cris Seecharan, chief executive, Telecommunications Authority of T&T (TATT)… more


Image credits:  journalismthatmatters (flickr);  Bahamas Weekly;  Wikipedia