Growth in ICT sector
A liberalised telecommunications market is on the rise in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean and this shift will help illustrate that while the region may be small, it can be powerful.
Minister of Telecommunications, Senator Darcy Boyce, made this point today as he delivered the welcome remarks at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union 11th Caribbean Ministerial Strategic ICT Seminar at the Hilton Barbados.
Addressing the two-day event’s theme Aligning Action to Vision, Boyce noted that this island’s Information and Communications Technology sector was growing from “strength to strength” with new names joining the market.
“We, in Barbados, have just welcomed Columbus [Communications] … and so we now have three large companies in the communications sector in Barbados … and when I hear from all three of them, I hear wonderful plans to expend large amounts of financial resources to upgrade the telecommunications structure of the country. Not only do they come to share the plans they have but in each case, the company has actually begun to make the investment,” he said.
The minister observed that the time for action was here, noting that “none of us has a choice in this matter … we have got to become better at what we do… We have to see our competition as coming not for each other but indeed from the rest of the world”.
Speaking with respect to Barbados, Boyce disclosed that “we are pressing ahead to [establish] our own local Internet exchange point. All the service providers have been very willing to cooperate in this exercise”.
While noting that the creation of Internet response teams to address attacks on systems was ongoing throughout the region with the assistance of the CTU.
Keynote speaker and CEO of the Curacao Technology Exchange N.V., Anthony de Lima, supported the premise that ICT was critical for Caribbean nations but added that developing nations were already leaders in this area.
“Developing countries are finding themselves… They are finding that it’s easier to conduct business with each other … and co-invest together,” he pointed out, noting that technology interconnects and strengthens the Caribbean, thus making it more attractive to international companies for investment.
“When we benchmark ourselves, let’s not benchmark against each other, but let’s benchmark pricing and access to what that looks like in developed countries,” he added.