ICT Stakeholders Connect to Develop a Broadband Strategy for St Kitts-Nevis

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 20, 2019 (SKNIS): The way forward for broadband and connectivity issues in St. Kitts and Nevis will be discussed over the next four days by industry leaders and other stakeholders at a Broadband Strategy Consultation.

The participants, convening at the Solid Waste Management Corporation Conference Room from August 20 – 23, 2019, are guided in their discussions by Dr. Martin Koyabe, Manager of Technical Support and Consultancy Division at the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO).

“The key aspect … is to make sure that the broadband dividend is actually realized for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr Koyabe stated.

Key areas to be considered include cybersecurity, data protection and privacy, and how it affects broadband deployment and the usage of broadband; open access in relation to the types of equipment and products offered by various service providers; and facilitating competitive markets to ensure that the environment is competitive and investors are able to get returns on their investments in the development of broadband in the twin-island Federation.

“We will look at more importantly, also on the issues of how we can lower cost because the cost of data is far, far too high in a number of jurisdictions,” Dr. Koyabe stated. “Statistics say that the cost of 1GB (gigabyte) of bandwidth or 1GB of data should always be less than two percent of the lowest-earning individuals in the country and we will look at the statistics and see how do we relate it to this particular course.”

Attorney General and Minister of Communications, the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr., thanked the participants for sharing their expertise and experience in shaping the new national strategy. He noted that broadband is a critical tool in a modern St. Kitts and Nevis and is widely used for communication, education, national security, healthcare, energy management and many more.

“With the use of digital technologies within government, we can deliver a range of e-services through departments such as Inland Revenue’s electronic licensing and e-payment services just to name a few,” Honourable Byron Jr. stated.

He added that earlier this year, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis engaged the services of international firm Deloitte and Touche to assist in developing a Digital Transformation Strategy that will enable public sector agencies to serve visitors more efficiently and effectively.

Minister Byron Jr. expressed that the government will continue to invest in technology projects such as the Government Wide Area Network, which enhances connectivity between public sector agencies, as a means of increasing digital services to nationals and residents at home and abroad.

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