Caribbean Min­is­ters Call for Ac­tion on OTTs

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the ECTEL mem­ber states have called on telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vice providers in the Caribbean re­gion to pro­pose so­lu­tions to the is­sue of Over-the-Top (OTT) ser­vices for the con­sid­er­a­tion of pol­icy mak­ers and reg­u­la­tors. Other Min­is­ters from the Caribbean re­gion in­clud­ing Bar­ba­dos Turks and Caicos Is­lands, An­tigua and Bar­buda have sup­ported this call.

Dur­ing the min­is­te­rial panel of the 31st an­nual con­fer­ence of CANTO (Caribbean As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Op­er­a­tors) the Min­is­ters also stated that over the past few years con­sumers have al­ready been latched on to OTTs and there­fore, as a group, they must be en­gaged in the dis­cus­sions on the so­lu­tions.

Min­is­ter of the Pu­bic Ser­vice, Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, Energy, Science & Tech­nol­ogy, In­for­ma­tion and Broad­cast­ing of Saint Lu­cia and Mem­ber of the ECTEL Coun­cil, Dr. James Fletcher stated: “Against the back­drop of the pos­i­tive im­pact of OTTs on the com­mu­ni­ties and small busi­nesses, the pol­icy mak­ers must con­sider all as­pects of the is­sue. Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vice providers must there­fore come up with home­grown so­lu­tions that would al­low Caribbean reg­u­la­tors to re­spond ef­fec­tively.”

The Min­is­ters also called on CANTO mem­bers to ad­dress the is­sues of high roam­ing rates within the Caribbean re­gion. Dr. Jer­rol Thompson, Spe­cial Ad­vi­sor on Science and Tech­nol­ogy to the Gov­ern­ment of St Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines stated that telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions providers should: “treat the ECTEL mem­ber states as one space and providers should stop grand­stand­ing on the is­sue of roam­ing”

The CANTO con­fer­ence and trade ex­hi­bi­tion was held in Mi­ami, USA from July 27 – 29th 2015 un­der the theme “Im­prov­ing lives through broad­band in­no­va­tion”. In ad­di­tion to the pre­sen­ta­tions by telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and ICT Min­is­ters from fif­teen Caribbean coun­tries, reg­u­la­tors and ser­vice providers made pre­sen­ta­tions on the theme. Over four hun­dred del­e­gates from the Caribbean and Latin Amer­ica in­clud­ing ser­vice providers, reg­u­la­tors and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials at­tended the con­fer­ence.

Dr. James Fletcher, ECTEL Coun­cil Mem­ber for Saint Lu­cia and Dr. Neil Mackay, Found­ing Chair­man

of CANTO in a friendly chat af­ter the Min­is­te­rial Round­table at the CANTO 31st an­nual con­fer­ence in

Mi­ami on July 27th, 2015.

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