National Authorities examine broadband pricing regulations

PierreBowrin-1Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): National authorities around the Caribbean are in St. Kitts receiving expert level training in effective broadband pricing by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

These regulations, says Pierre Bowrin ICT Policy Advisor, are important to ensure the benefits of broadband communications are available to all citizens.

Speaking at the start of a four-day training workshop yesterday (July 07) Bowrin said, “This is work that is necessary, given the prominence that broadband is fulfilling. Broadband has become a right and we must all use it for its benefits, not just to develop ourselves socially but to develop our economies. It is our responsibility to get it right. As the broadband environment changes we have to adapt also to make sure that the environment is good enough both for those who want to invest and for us who would like to consume.”

Cleveland Thomas, Caribbean Representative for the International Telecommunication Union applauded the government for including ICT development in its efforts to diversify its economy, including use of the government portal for e-commerce, the establishment of ICT centers, the iLiteracy One-to-One-Laptop Project and the introduction of EduNet, which aims to bring internet access to all schools in the federation.

“These, among other things testify to the progress that St. Kitts and Nevis is making in fulfilling its vision to utilize technology for its socio-economic development,” said Thomas.

Thomas further explained the significance of effectively regulating broadband pricing to the country’s development goals.

“Empirical studies have shown that there is an obvious link between telecommunications and economic and social development. Similarly, there is a link between service prices and investment. This forum is particularly relevant in this regard as it focuses on a critical component of regulatory accounting and costing, which has the potential to build the investors’ confidence and ultimately the social and economic environment”.

During the training which runs from July 7-10, participants will examine existing cost models around the world, learn about negotiation in the broadband environment and proper market intervention protocols.

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