PHILIPSBURG:— Mr. Sidney de Weever – Head of the technical department at Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP) – was invited to be a panelist at Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) regulators forum that took place in Barbados earlier this month.
The theme of the forum was “The harmonization of policies for the CARICOM single ICT space”, whereby Mr. de Weever shared St. Maarten’s experience with the harmonization of spectrum between Anguilla, French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten. He explained how the different sovereign states managed to come to an agreement, and foster a fruitful working relationship.
CTU’s goal is ultimate to create a single Information Communication Technology (ICT) space whereby all stakeholders in the region – in particular, the regulators – work together in its planning and implementation in order to derive the full benefits of a single ICT Space. It is, therefore, imperative that all unnecessary barriers are eliminated in order to allow for the free movement of goods, people, services and capital, as envisioned by the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
An important subject that was discussed during the forum was the regulation of ‘Over-the-Top Technology” (OTT) and the wide variety of services that have penetrated the Caribbean market and disrupt the business models of enterprises, and the telecoms industry in particular. Amongst these “OTT” services are Magic Jack, Netflix, Air BNB” and UBER.
Attempts to stop or limit the rise of OTT players is questionable and could be perceived as an infringement on the right to free choice and the notion of free access to the internet. Mr. de Weever further outlined that Caribbean islands are now being faced with the difficult task to find a balance in this digital age, whereby it’s crucial to come together as one unified Caribbean and foster policies that will benefit all stakeholders involved, and that is one of the reasons why BTP decided to host an Internet Week from the 24th till the 28th of this month. Open discussions on our internet landscape, and shaping the future of our ICT industry is a necessity to bring our beautiful island up to speed.
The Internet Week St. Maarten is geared towards a broad profile of Internet stakeholders, including government officials, policymakers, regulators, telecom operators, ICT-ers, and researchers. Those who are interested in participation can register online until October 17th, 2016:
Source: St. Martin News Network
BTP participated in CTU Regulators Forum Barbados.