Towards A Single Caribbean ICT Space

ITUInnovationPolitical Will Not Technology Needed for Success

In the face of the mounting economic and social challenges, the Caribbean urgently needs to tap into new sources of growth. Across the region, the search is on for areas that will create new job opportunities, improve its competitiveness and drive innovation. Creation of a Single ICT Space in CARICOM is expected to provide tremendous benefits, if the region can muster the collective strength to make it a reality.

Cautious Optimism
On the global stage, strategic use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is widely acknowledged as a critical pillar for sustainable and inclusive growth. However, the Caribbean lacks a genuine single market for electronic communications. Seeking to address this, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government recently announced plans to establish a CARICOM Single ICT Space.

Data is the new OIL! Help the Caribbean get some! Take and Pass on this Survey on availability of Agriculture Open Data.

ctanetherlandsICT4AG- The survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/agridata aims to identify the availability, use and issues in relation with agriculture open data in the Caribbean. Open data are complete sets of information on an issue or activity, that are open and free to use, reuse, and redistribute. They are formatted for ease of use, in many cases take the form of databases, and favour public information, transparency, accountability and innovations.

It is undertaken by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) www.cta.int, in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) www.iica.int and Connectimass (a Caribbean association http://connectimass.com/), in the framework of the Agrihack Talent Caribbean initiative, and of the efforts of these organizations to promote knowledge sharing on agriculture in the Caribbean. The AgriHack Talent Caribbean project aims to support the development of ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by young people.

Most agricultural organizations have information on their website; we are more interested here on specific links to sets of data on specific topic(s) or activity(ies) that can be re-used.

Your response to this survey will help the development of ICT applications that will enhance the agricultural sector as well as help better address agriculture data challenges in the Caribbean. The research targets in particular agriculture stakeholders and IT developers involved in developing solutions for agriculture from the Caribbean.

It will only take a few minutes to complete this form.  Questions marked with an asterisk (*) are compulsory.

Please respond to this survey by 24 August 2014. Preferably, please respond today here https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/agridata

A revolution in mobile communication is coming to the Caribbean: Voice over LTE (VoLTE)

mobileplatformsMOBILE NEWS- When people talk about LTE networks, also known as 4G, they are mainly referring to data, specifically high-speed data. And it’s not unusual. The service is, after all, an “all-IP” technology, which makes maximum use of the efficient exchange of data packets for high speed downloading of text files, videos and photographs.

The real cost of violating net neutrality in the Caribbean

trinidad-flagOPINION- A recent move by two major Caribbean mobile providers to block access to Internet-based telephony services—including several popular Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications—has brought the issue of net neutrality to the attention of Caribbean mobile phone users.

The core principle of net neutrality is that Internet service providers should treat all data passing across their networks equally, not discriminating by user, generator, content, site, platform, application or equipment.

A joint statement from the T&T chapters of the Internet Society (ISOC-TT) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-TT), along with the T&T Computer Society, described the move to block certain services as “a violation of the concept of network neutrality”.

Tech education essential to help Caribbean youth create future

BrightPathFoundation_LogoTECH EVENT – Increasing the competitiveness of T&T’s software industry should be a priority for the sustainable development of the nation’s nascent information technology (IT) sector. This was the call from Bevil Wooding, Executive Director of BrightPath Foundation.

Wooding was speaking at an interview after the closing ceremony of TechCamp 2014, a two-week technology education camp targeting 10 to 15 year olds.

“Software development is an essential skill for the digital generation. Education in the fundamentals coding helps us secure our place in the technology-based economies of the future.”

Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) Company’s Mobile Money Guyana (MMG) launches “Shop ‘n go”

guyana_flag_printables_av2MOBILE MONEY- Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh during brief remarks at the launch of the GT&T’s Mobile Money Merchant Service at Herdmanston Lodge. GT&T’s customers will now be able to pay for their goods and services at a wide range of places from super markets, service stations, hospitals, pharmacies, restaurants, hardware and general stores, and boutiques just to name a few.

Caribbean Telecoms Forum Now On in Bahamas At Atlantis

bahamas-flagTECH EVENTS -The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organidations (CANTO) will hold its 30th anniversary annual conference and trade exhibition at Atlantis from August 10-15.The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), in partnership with the Government, is the co-host.

BTC chief executive Leon Williams is the ‘master of ceremonies’ for the opening on Sunday, August 10, and will also bring remarks. Prime Minister Perry Christie will give the official address to mark the conference opening.
The conference theme, ‘Strategic Alliances for Sustainable Broadband Development’, reflects CANTO’s current thrust to form strategic alliances on broadband infrastructurel development throughout the Caribbean.

Mr Williams said: “Wireless data is now experiencing mass-market adoption, and growth is even faster than wireline because not only are individual users consuming ever more data, but the percentage of users using mobile broadband is increasing.“The result is a huge projected increase in data consumption, as mobile broadband traffic continues to increase not just in the Bahamas, but worldwide.”

The conference offers a wide range of interactive workshops and informative telecommunications industry sessions through to August 15. More

Push for eCommerce in Barbados

barbadosflagTECH NEWS – THE SMALL Business Association (SBA) is pushing e-commerce in a big way and as such has formed partnerships to enable its members to more fully utilise the technology. Business operations manager Andrea C Taylor said the SBA was working with both banks and Government in this regard.

“We have a banking partner in First Citizens bank which is very much aware of the plans we have and are working with us to try and see how best to facilitate the process,” she said. Taylor was speaking after their bi-monthly members’ meeting in Bagnall Point, Pelican Village, Princess Alice Highway, St Michael. She said e-commerce was a top priority so they had also partnered with the Ministry of Small Business to host a lecture on the Benefits and Challenges SME’s Face with E-commerce by guest speaker, e-commerce development officer Chesterfield Coppin of the Ministry of Small Business. More

CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST – Attention of tech hubs and labs in the Caribbean. Get involved in the AgriHack Talent Caribbean

atc2014The Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with institutions including the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and ConnectiMass will organise a Caribbean Initiative for ICT for Agriculture called Agrihack Talent Caribbean.

Its main objective is support the development of ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by young people. Private, public sector and non-government run innovation or entrepreneurship hubs/labs/communities (including university labs) are invited to express interest in being partners nominating and supporting teams to the finals of the Agrihack Talent Caribbean competition in Suriname.

Get involved in the AgriHack Talent Caribbean!

The Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with institutions including the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and ConnectiMass will organise a Caribbean Initiative for ICT for Agriculture called Agrihack Talent Caribbean. Its main objective is support the development of ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by young people.

Private, public sector and non-government run innovation or entrepreneurship hubs/labs/communities (including university labs) are invited to express interest in being partners nominating and supporting teams to the finals of the Agrihack Talent Caribbean competition in Suriname.

More

Industry experts agree: Regulators must protect Caribbean mobile subscribers.

voipMobile telecommunications operators in the region will continue to take advantage of consumers until stronger regulatory frameworks are built to protect Caribbean citizens. Regulators across the region must take decisive action to protect consumer choice, and the neutrality of the Internet across the Caribbean.

This is the consensus emerging among several Latin America and Caribbean Internet and telecommunications industry experts who spoke to the T&T Guardian after a move by regional mobile operators Digicel and LIME to block Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services over their networks in Haiti, Jamaica and T&T.

Time To Revisit Caribbean Telecom Regulations

tabletsincaribbeanschoolsOutmoded Policy Hindering Development, Hurting Consumers

The move by two major Caribbean mobile providers to block access to popular Internet-based telephony services continues to capture regional attention. Their action has provoked the ire of consumers, caught the attention of Internet advocates and forced the engagement of national regulators. But perhaps most significantly, it has put a spotlight on the outmoded regulations that govern the actions of telecommunications providers in the Caribbean.