JIS News

The three-day Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) forum, which ended on September 26 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay, is being hailed as a success by the organization’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.
“We had over 100 delegates representing 30 countries from all over the Caribbean and the Commonwealth such as the United States of America, Europe, Africa and Asia, engaged in the basic objectives of the forum, which was to provide a forum for meaningful, friendly and informative exchange of knowledge on the subject of Next Generation Networks (NGNs),” he told JIS News.
“I believe that we did as much as can reasonably be done in three days on a global stage, with just enough people to have enough intimate exchange of views on so many subjects. This was a very important opportunity and I think that our objectives were more than exceeded and were very adequately met and we are grateful to the people and government of Jamaica and to our host, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and others,” Dr. Spio-Garbrah stated.
He pointed out that overall, the conference was of the strong view that NGNs must attempt to connect the unconnected by the establishment of the right policies by government, the right regulatory frameworks by the appropriate agencies, the appropriate operational decisions and strategic plans by companies. “Also there must be a convergence of equipment such as standardization in mobile handsets” where a variety of services could be provided from one common equipment,” he said.
In the meantime, Director General of OUR, J. Paul Morgan said that “we need to revisit the Information Communications Technology (ICT) policy and its relevance in addressing some of the issues that have emerged during these discussions at the forum. Also, we must move quickly in putting the legal framework in place”.
He noted further that the Telecommunications Act needs to be revamped to reflect the changing world in ICTs. Once that is so, then the OUR has to ensure that its own policies are facilitatory. We cannot allow ourselves to be a stumbling block or a roadblock in the development of the industry”, Mr. Morgan noted.
He said that Jamaica must make use of these opportunities provided by CTO, noting that the organization had much to offer developing countries in terms of capacity building, policy planning and regulatory policy development.

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