Roundup: for the week ending 3 May 2015

A roundup of the latest ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 27 April to 3 May 2015.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Attorney General urges female students to get into the ICT field

Bahamas – Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs the Hon. Allyson Maynard Gibson, QC, encouraged female students attending the International Girls in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Day Forum and Mini-Fair to get into ICT to find lucrative careers… more

BTC to lose $25M in roaming charges due to new agreements

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) stands to lose upwards of $25 million in roaming revenue for the year once it finalizes new bilateral agreements with U.S. and Canadian telecoms companies, according to BTC CEO Leon Williams… more

Cable Blasts URCA’s ‘Unprecedented’ Bar

Bahamas – Cable Bahamas was last night locked in a new battle with its regulator, as it accused the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) of stifling wireless broadband competition via an “unprecedented’ order halting construction of its new communications towers… more

Delivery of fixed broadband wireless services halted by URCA

Bahamas – RCA has issued an interim order requiring Cable Bahamas Ltd (CBL) to halt construction of towers that the company has stated it intends to use to facilitate the provision of fixed wireless broadband services to its customers… more

Local mobile sector watching ‘over-the-top’ services like Skype, WhatsApp

Bahamas – With data-related services like Skype and WhatsApp rapidly cutting into global telecoms profits, Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) Director of Policy Stephen Bereaux said that The Bahamas must “watch and see” data service growth as local networks express growing concerns… more

Union chief brands BTC downsizing ‘inhumane’

Bahamas – The trade union leader representing Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) line staff has described the company’s protracted downsizing process as “inhumane”, adding: “Morale is in the tank”… more

URCA, Cable Bahamas and BTC to Host First ‘International Girls in ICT Day’

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), Cable Bahamas and Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) and other sector licensees will facilitate a one-day ‘Girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day’ Forum and Mini-Fair on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the British Colonial Hilton… more

URCA orders CBL to ‘cease and desist’ building towers

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has ordered Cable Bahamas Ltd. (CBL) to “immediately cease and desist” construction of any electronic communications towers pending the results of an investigation into the need for the towers… more

April 23 Observed As International Girls In ICT Day

Dominica – On Thursday April 23rd countries across the globe, including Dominica, observed Girls in ICT Day 2015… more

Digicel Offers Free Voice Calls with Mobile Data TopUps

Jamaica – Jamaica’s Digicel has launched a new offer known as Digicel “Zero” that will see customers getting all Digicel voice calls for free with the purchase of a three day data plan… more

Cable & Wireless CWC logoColumbus Business Solutions, part of Cable & Wireless Communications, recognized in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for its Disaster Recovery as a Service solution

Regional – Columbus Business Solutions, part of Cable & Wireless Communications, today announced it has been positioned in the renowned Gartner Magic Quadrant for its Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution… more

Laptops or tablets?

Trinidad and Tobago – The relentless march of computing technology can lead to confusion as to what device we really need, as opposed to desire. Desktops are rarely mentioned these days as laptops, netbooks and tablets, all portable computers, seem to dominate the markets now… more

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

BTC television service test islands to enjoy live coverage of the IAAF/BTC World Relays

Bahamas – Residents in Bimini, Inagua, Long Island, Cat Island and Andros that are testing BTC television services will be able to enjoy live coverage of the two day IAAF/BTC World Relays courtesy of IPTV by BTC… more

Report shows IT dangers facing government

Cayman Islands – Lack of understanding regarding basic computer technology and information system access protocols led to the potential for major security breaches in the Department of Agriculture prior to last year… more

Latest Microsoft Program Helping Curacao Businesses

Curacao – “Microsoft Office 365 has benefitted me and my company,” with those word Edward Schnog, managing director of one of the oldest and more successful car dealers in Curacao, Garage Cordia, started his interview… more

E-Governance agreement with private company will be scrapped if opposition wins- WPA

Guyana – The Working People’s Alliance (WPA), one of six parties in the opposition coalition, on Tuesday said the hand over control of Guyana’s E-Governance project to a small private company would be scrapped if the opposition wins next month’s general elections… more

Woman’s work: Birthing Caribbean entrepreneurs

Regional – You really don’t know what to expect when you put a dozen-plus Caribbean entrepreneurs in one room for a week… more

Samsung drops the S6

Trinidad and Tobago – Like a particularly fine needle seeking its groove, Samsung introduced the new flagship models of its smartphone line at Home a week ago, the design and art collaborative space incorporated into the family home of the fashion forward Anya Ayoung-Chee… more

New online public sector jobs page launched

Turks and Caicos Islands – Turks and Caicos Islanders looking to work in the public sector can now easily track job opportunities in the public sector thanks to a new vacancies section on the government’s website… more

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Work only just begins on long awaited e-gov site

Cayman Islands – The much anticipated goal of moving more government services online to cut costs and improve efficiency still appears some way off. Despite promises from successive administrations that technology will be used to help reduce queues, bureaucracy and costs, e-government is still in the early stages… more

Govt defends fibre-optic cable deal with Dax Contracting Services

Guyana – The Guyana government on Wednesday defended handing over the rehabilitation and maintenance of the state-owned fibre-optic cable to a local private company for free, saying that it was much cost effective to do so rather than borrow between US$20 million to US$30 million to first fix it… more

Flow Must Cut Cable Fees

Jamaica – THE EDITOR, Sir: I write following the cover story in this paper last Friday, April 24, 2015, regarding the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica’s removal of 19 channels from Jamaica cable TV. As a Flow customer and looking at the list of channels, my household is going to be severely impacted… more

Time For Local TV

Jamaica – Jamaica loses 19 movie stations from cable come May 31. Owners of these stations (and 79 others) have complained that Jamaican cable operators have no licensing agreements with them to carry the programming. As a result, the Broadcasting Commission has issued official cease-and-desist notifications… more

Girls Can Do it Too!

Trinidad and Tobago – Over 130 girls of the Bishop’s Centenary College were introduced to the limitless possibilities for women in ICTs to commemorate International Girls in ICT Day… more

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Bahamas Cellular Liberalization Task Force moving forward two proposals – Digicel Withdraws

Bahamas – Task Force announces the invitation to participate in the Phase II spectrum auction… more

BTC Offers Free Landline and Internet to Displaced Exuma Straw Vendors

Bahamas – BTC recently made business much easier for the vendors of the recently razed Exuma Straw Market in George Town… more

Bahamas flag (Wikipedia)Cellular Liberalization Task Force announces the invitation to participate in the Phase II spectrum auction

Bahamas – The Cellular Liberalization Task Force (the Task Force) advises that the Evaluation Committee, appointed by the Government, has completed its assessment of the Proposals received for the award of licences to a second cellular mobile operator in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas… more

Data commissioner warns over leaks

Bahamas – The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner is warning government department and ministry heads that they will be held accountable for any unauthorized leaking of data into the public domain… more

Digicel Pulls Out Of Mobile Bidding

Bahamas – Digicel was last night said to have pulled out of the bidding for this nation’s second cellular licence, leaving just Cable Bahamas and Virgin Mobile (Bahamas) vying to become the first competitor to the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC)… more

In Barbados, An Eye Toward Innovation

Barbados – Entrepreneurship and innovation are critical for promoting competitiveness and diversifying the economy, according to Barbados Industry Minister Donville Inniss… more

Inniss calls for regional unity

Barbados – MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss says that it is time the Caribbean makes a critical decision to unite… more

Microsoft Office 365 enhances Barbados Workers Union Co-Op Credit Union’s performance

Barbados – The Barbados Workers Union Cooperative Credit Union has increased the speed of response to queries from its hundreds of members. This more efficient service was noticeable from last July, when the credit union switched its email service to Microsoft Office 365, Exchange Online… more

NBC demands Flow pull channels

Barbados – TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDER Columbus Communications, which operates as Flow in the Eastern Caribbean, is smarting from a demand by the US-based entertainment giant NBC-Universal to remove a number of television channels from the regional company’s cable line-up… more

Belize Is Getting Faster Internet

Belize – Sometimes the best solution to a technical problem is social engineering. After a journey of two years, that’s exactly how Belize has come to a major milestone in its technological development… more

Primary school receives laptop donation

Cayman Islands – The Edna M Moyle Primary School (EMPS) recently received a generous donation of 10 laptops, to further assist with teaching and learning at the school… more

Digicel (Guyana) helps promote ICT among Guyanese girls

Guyana – Digicel (Guyana) teamed up with the country’s National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) headquarters to promote and observe ‘Girls in ICT Day’, the phone company said in a statement… more

Cabinet approves contract to improve police telecoms system

Jamaica – Cabinet has approved a contract for the upgrading and expansion of the police telecommunications system that will greatly improve the handling of the 119 emergency calls… more

Cable & Wireless locks arms with hotel group

Regional – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Cable & Wireless Communications, a full-service communications provider operating in 16 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America… more

CARICOM DSG encourages young girls to join ICT revolution

Regional – CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan has encouraged young girls to become more involved in the ICT sector… more

CWC Obtains Audio Rights for Barclays Premier league football in the Caribbean

Regional – Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) today announced that it has reached an agreement with talkSPORT, global audio partner of the Barclays Premier League, to acquire live audio streaming rights and official match commentary of Barclays Premier League football across all its markets in the Caribbean and Latin America until the end of the 2018/19 season… more

Expanding Caribbean Internet

Regional – Some significant changes have been taking place in the hidden architecture of the Caribbean internet over the past few years… more

OAS releases cybersecurity report, sees jump in cybercrime

Regional – The newly-issued Report on Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure In The Americas reveals that a majority of member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) saw an increase of attacks to their computer systems in 2014, and an even greater percentage reported that cyber attacks against infrastructure are getting more sophisticated… more

ICT Policy Advisor Represents National Commission At Paris Internet Meeting

Saint Kitts and Nevis – The National Commission for UNESCO is set to convene a workshop on the state of the Internet in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis with a view to maximize its use as a tool for information sharing… more

New Opening Hours

Saint Kitts and Nevis – LIME wishes to announce our new opening hours for its Retail Stores in both St. Kitts & Nevis effective May 1st, 2015 • Monday through Friday: 8 am to 5pm • Saturdays: 9 am to 1 pm… more

Trinidad_and_Tobago FlagBlink / bmobile powers Carib’s success story

Trinidad and Tobago – “THE most important thing that you did was to earn our trust and that’s priceless because the next time we have to make a judgment call that could be a very important tipping point.” … more

Think twice before posting that video online. Here’s why.

Trinidad and Tobago – The evolution of the Internet is creating new opportunities but also new risks for parents, teachers and young people… more

Friday, 1 May 2015

BCPOU president ‘very, very pleased’ Digicel is out

Bahamas – Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) President Bernard Evans said his union is “very, very pleased” that regional telecoms giant Digicel has dropped out of the race for the second mobile license to be granted in The Bahamas. In fact, he said if the union helped run Digicel off, “then hallelujah”… more

BTC breathes easy as Digicel backs out of mobile licence auction

Bahamas – Pan-Caribbean telecoms group Digicel has pulled out of the running for the Bahamas’ second mobile licence, Tribune 242 writes, citing the Cellular Liberalisation Task Force… more

CBL’s independent mobile network solution approved by cellular task force, moves on to final round

Bahamas – The Cellular Liberalization Task Force announced Tuesday that Cable Bahamas has been approved to move to the next phase in the selection process… more

Chamber president disappointed, but not surprised by Digicel exit

Bahamas – Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) CEO Edison Sumner yesterday said that he is disappointed but “not entirely surprised” by international cellular company Digicel’s decision to drop out of the race for the country’s second mobile license… more

Data protection commissioner promotes staggered approach to implementing FOIA

Bahamas – Data Protection Commissioner Sharmie Farrington-Austin yesterday stated that while the government should pass a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the near future, it must take a “staggered enforcement” approach to implementing the act to ensure there are no improper breaches of personal information… more

Mobile Bid Terms Are ‘Too Onerous’

Bahamas – Digicel’s pull-out yesterday prompted a Bahamian-led group to admit it decided not to bid on the second mobile licence because several conditions set by the Government were “too onerous”… more

BUSINESS BYTE: Digicel Dominica introduces low rate on calls to Haiti

Dominica – As part of its promise to deliver the best value in Dominica, Digicel today announced that it has reduced its calling rate from Dominica to Haiti to an all-time low of $0.85 for calls made to family and friends in Haiti at any time of the day or night and to any network… more

Guyana flag (Wikipedia)Contractor gets exclusive rights to US$100M ICT project

Guyana – Over a five-year period, between 2010 and 2014, Government budgeted $20B (US$100M) for its Information Communication Technology (ICT) programme that included its E-Governance and fibre optic cable from Brazil and the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) projects… more

Gifting fibre optic cable reminiscent of radio frequencies giveaway – Greenidge

Guyana – A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) point man on Finance, Carl Greenidge, and financial analyst, Ramon Gaskin, have blasted the Government’s “sweetheart” deal with Dax Contracting Services… more

Caribbean Broadband Development and Spectrum Requirements

Regional – Broadband roll-out in the Caribbean has become one of the most important Information and Communication Technology (ICT) issues in the Caribbean… more

Support pledged for young Caribbean entrepreneurs at Commonwealth meeting

Regional – Youth Ministers and youth leaders in the Caribbean have called for “strong recognition” of the needs and aspirations of young people at a high-level conference in Antigua and Barbuda… more

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Belize to Establish its First IXP in Order to Offer Faster Internet

Belize – With broadband service slow and unavailable in much of the country, Belize is gearing up to build its first Internet exchange point (IXP) in a bid to persuade more people to sign up for superior service… more

Can Telecoms Legally Block WhatsApp Calls?

Jamaica – THE EDITOR, Sir: Recently, WhatsApp introduced its voice component, which allows WhatsApp subscribers to call each other free. To my dismay, my friends calling from overseas have not been able to use this app with me unless I am on a Wi-Fi connection… more

Sunday, 3 May 2015

TONI THORNE: The downside of social media

Barbados – SOCIAL MEDIA is a wonderful tool for communication and promotion. It has enhanced our lives and in many ways made the world a more connected, advanced habitat… more

Belize – telecoms, IP networks, digital media and forecasts published by leading research firm

Belize – The Belizean telecom market was officially liberalised in 2003, yet the incumbent, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), continues to hold a monopoly in fixed-line services and is the dominant provider of mobile and broadband services… more

US$100M spent on ICT projects…Jagdeo’s cronies begin takeover of telecoms sector

Guyana – Two years ago, Kaieteur News which has been reporting and raising questions over the spending of taxpayers’ monies, predicted that moves were afoot to take over the telecommunication industry… more

Jamaica flag (Wikipedia)A brave new world: Telecoms battles media

Jamaica – The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica recently conceded what the well-informed among us had long known: Many of the overseas-originated channels currently provided by our local cable operators are unauthorised… more

Advisory Column: Avoiding Online Business Opportunity Scams

Jamaica – QUESTION: I recently read your article ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Earning Online’. Very interesting read. Very helpful information. I, too, have wondered how money could be made online in a secure manner without any scam traps, get-rich-quick schemes, or quick sand traps I should not get close to… more

CaribNOG 9 launches on high note in Saint Lucia

Regional – “Within the Caribbean lies the human resource capacity to take care of its IT business!” … more


Image credits:   carterse (flickr);  Marketing Magazine;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia