Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Honourable Marlon Penn, has said that the British Virgin Islands is looking towards advancing in the direction of smart technology and communities.
Honourable Penn made the announcement while speaking at the Ministerial roundtable discussion at CANTO’s 33rd telecom conference being held in the Dominican Republic.
He said, “One of the things that we are discussing is the issue we’re having with (developing) smart communities. I’ve had that discussion recently to have the Library Services in East End to be a WiFiFree Zone as well as the community centre. Hopefully that can be launched soon.”
Honourable Penn and a team of Government and private sector officials are in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic discussing the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the region including the advancement of smart communities.
He added that although these advances are being made, the Territory is still behind and there are many challenges that are being faced in providing smart communities.
“One of the challenges that we have is that we are paying a premium for ICT and broadband communications but we are not getting the best service that we can get based on the money that we are paying”, Honourable Penn said.
The Junior Minister expressed that he is hopeful that through the conference and the further discussions about developing smart communities in the region will ignite a solution for the BVI.
Chief Executive Officer for the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), Mr. Guy Lester Malone, stated that disaster management and ICT were also brought to the forefront and that he was pleased to say that the BVI’s ICT relationship with the local Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is in good standing especially through disaster seasons.
He said, “We have worked together with DDM to ensure that the four operators adhere to and commit themselves to ensuring that they deliver messages on disaster preparedness to the public in an effective manner. This is from a Memorandum of Understanding with networks which allows them to access frequencies and phones in little to no time.”
Mr. Malone added that through the networking opportunity at these conferences, the relationships with operators will become even better and will in turn benefit the consumer.
The topic of cyber security in which the TRC has much interest will be discussed at tomorrow’s session.
The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is an Additional Sponsor and Affiliate Member of CANTO. The conference is being held under the theme, "Reimagining ICT as a Tool for National Growth & Development" and will conclude tomorrow.
To view updates, video and pictures from the conference, visit the TRC’s Facebook page at username @TRCVI.
Audio clip: Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Honourable Marlon Penn at CANTO 33rd Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition