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Story Highlights

  • The CTU has signed a MOU with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
  • President of the CTU, Minister Paulwell, said that the laissez-faire attitude towards the use of the Internet has to change.
  • Part of the MoU is to ensure protection of sovereign rights of CTU member states and management of domain names.

The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) is moving to ensure unrestricted access to the Internet for the region’s nationals.

The organisation, to this end, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which will ensure collaboration between the entities in protecting the interests of member states of the CTU towards continued, unhindered access to the information highway..

Secretary General of the CTU, Bernadette Lewis, and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN, Fadi Chehade, signed on behalf for their respective organizations, during a session of the 12th Caribbean Ministerial Strategic Information Communication Technology (ICT) Seminar on December 4, being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James.

President of the CTU and Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, said that the laissez-faire attitude towards the use of the Internet has to change.

“Many of us engage the Internet quite seamlessly and without thinking” he said, noting that “we have to now take a second look at this world of information that has been largely unrestricted, but with a warning that there might be, in the future this restriction and barriers, and the need for us to ensure that that does not happen”.

Part of the MoU is to ensure protection of sovereign rights of CTU member states and management of domain names. Minister Paulwell said “the whole business of domain name management,” has to be seen for its strategic importance.

He stated that in Jamaica, moves will be made to build a broad-based coalition of all stakeholders within the IT sector to ensure that best practices are adopted, that will enable more effective utilization of the domain names to advance some of the country’s strategic objectives.

“It is going to foster a level of collaboration and co-operation so that information can flow to us, and if there is any attempt to, in any way, infringe on some of the things that we hold and cherish, our role at the table will be impactful and important,” he stated.

He said that the agreement will also advance the mission of getting more Jamaicans to access the Internet and see the information highway as a strategic part of the creation of a knowledge-based society.

The CTU Secretary General, in her remarks, argued that the Internet has become intricately woven into the fabric of the Caribbean lifestyle.

She said it is only fitting that the CTU avails itself of the opportunity to establish the MOU, which will enable CTU member states to work on mutually beneficial activities, which would foster utilization and growth of the Internet within the context of the Caribbean setting.

ICANN is a United States-based organization, which is responsible for  Internet  Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions.