“Caribbean Telecommunications Union holds ICT Week in BVI” by Gerard Best

Caribbean citizens’ growing appetite for digital conveniences is driving the region’s governments to act decisively to move essential services to online platforms.

Ministers and senior government officials from across the region are holding talks to outline the practical steps needed to make basic government services available through smartphones and other Internet-connected devices. The Ministerial seminar will take place today in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI).

President of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) Philip Paulwell, Jamaican Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, will officially welcome regional delegates. CTU Secretary General Bernadette Lewis will also attend.

The seminar will explore a range of technology issues related to regional development, including practical ways for governments to make public data more readily available to citizens.

The meeting of ministers is part of a series of high-level gatherings, called an ICT Week, hosted by the BVI government and the CTU, from September 28 to October 1. Premier of the BVI, Dr D. Orlando Smith will formally open the event.

The ICT Week comes against the backdrop of the 2014 agreement by regional heads of government to establish a CARICOM Single ICT Space. It will open with an Executive Council and a General Conference of Ministers on the first two days.

On the final day, the Second Caribbean Regulators’ Forum will highlight roaming charges and other important challenges facing industry regulators as the Caribbean telecommunications environment converges.

It is the second forum of its kind to take place in the region. At the first regulatory forum on December 10 and 11, 2014 in Port of Spain, Caribbean regulators met first with stakeholders and then in private to formulate a regional response to the US$3 billion acquisition of Columbus Communications by Cable and Wireless.

The event is sponsored by Huawei technologies (T&T) as well as LIME, Digicel and CCT. Registration information and event details are available on the CTU website.

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