JIS News

Jamaica has been given the honour of hosting the 35th Annual Conference of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), which will see the convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting regulators from all over the world.
In an interview with JIS News, Cordell Green, Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission, revealed that Jamaica’s reputation and track record in communications was “second to none” and this was instrumental in the country being afforded the opportunity to host the conference.
“A conference of this prestige, coming to Jamaica, is in no small way a measure of how the Broadcasting Commission in particular, and Jamaica more generally, are viewed internationally,” Mr. Green pointed out.
The Broadcasting Commission is collaborating with Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI) and Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA) to host the two-day conference, which will be held from Monday, October 11 to Tuesday, October 12, at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay.
“There will be approximately 20 speakers at the conference. Among the impressive list of expert speakers and delegates are Kathleen Abernathy, who is a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission in the USA; Charles Dalfen, who is Chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission; and, Mandla Langa, who is the Chairman of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.
Also among the impressive list of keynote speakers and panellists are Alberto Pecegueiro, General Director of GloboSat, in Brazil; Dr. Vaho Rebassoo, Chief Technology Officer of the Boeing Company.
Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology will give the keynote address, while CARICOM Minister with responsibility for communication, Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, will speak at the gala dinner. In addition, there will be representation from Australia, Malaysia, Spain and the Caribbean region.
“All the persons involved in regulating telecommunications and broadcasting in the region, have been invited and all persons [otherwise] involved in telecom and broadcasting have also been invited. In addition to those persons, we will have, on the academic side, speakers from the University of the West Indies (UWI), from Harvard, Oxford, and Syracuse University,” he added.
Regional scholars expected to take part in the discussions include Dr. Hopeton Dunn, CARIMAC lecturer and Head of the Creative Production Training Centre (CPTC); Claude Robinson, a senior research fellow at the UWI; Dr. Rosalea Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Law and Economics.
The IIC’s annual conferences are viewed internationally as a “platform for discussion and analysis of very complex, cutting-edge technological policy and regulatory issues,” said Mr. Green.
“The idea is to provide a platform and network through which regulators can discuss cutting-edge, technological developments and the implications for policy and regulation…it is really an opportunity to share information and to see whether there can be some consistency in the world standards,” Mr. Green told JIS News.
An International Regulators Forum will precede the conference on October 9 and 11 and this will be a closed session to ensure the free flow and exchange of information, Mr. Green informed.
One of the key issues to be discussed at this year’s Regulators Forum will be a “discussion about a permanent international arrangement for this interface and exchange of information,” he told JIS News.
As it now stands, the International Regulators Forum is held annually, and is in fact the only platform that allows telecommunication and broadcasting regulators to meet in one place to discuss a range of issues including the convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting, he noted.
Mr. Green said he was expecting “great things” from this year’s conference. “I expect that coming out of those discussions, or the meat of those discussions, will dovetail into the work that we are doing at the Broadcasting Commission, the work that’s being done by the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR), and all other persons who are responsible for the communications sector,” the Executive Director told JIS News.
The International Institute of Communications (IIC) is a global inter-disciplinary network of senior policy makers, regulators, scholars, technologists, content providers, encompassing telecommunications, broadcasting and new media.
In this age of convergence of communications, the IIC’s annual conference provides a unique forum for an interchange of perspectives between IIC members, who are drawn from industry, government and academia in broadcasting, telecommunications, information technology, online services and the print media.