Consistently, tech/ICT issues that made the headlines or had us talking in 2016 were diverse and interesting: from the liberalisation process in Guyana and the region’s growing focus on call centres and offshore outsourcing, to tracking the changes in Internet download speeds and prices. As we begin to come to grips with what 2017 has to offer, here are four developments we believe will be evident in the Caribbean in this year.
1. Regulation continues to evolve in the region
The Caribbean region as a whole is at an interesting crossroads with respect to telecoms regulation. Some countries that had introduced regulatory policies in the early 2000s are in the throes of overhauling the framework to make it more relevant for today’s landscape. Others that either more recently embarked on the liberalisation process, or are just about to do so, are still to experience and understand the dynamics of those emerging environments.
It must be emphasised that policy, and by extension regulatory, changes can be a protracted process. However, it is expected that by the end of 2017, the region as a whole will be on a better footing, or at the very least on the path to a better footing, than it currently is at the beginning of 2017.
2. Network security continue to get attention
As noted over the course of 2016, the Caribbean was not immune to network hacking and cybercrime. This year promises to be no different, as globally, all countries continue to grapple with the pervasiveness of the problem. In that regard, it is expected that the efforts – both by individual countries and by the region as a whole – to increase awareness among policymakers, and possibly introduce better practices and systems, will take greater shape and become more evident in 2017.