CONSUMER HORIZON

Regulators Discuss Improvements To Electronic Communications Services To Consumers

The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions (NTRCs) gathered virtually on September 13, 2022 for the 23rd ECTEL/ NTRC Consultative Forum.The aim of the session was to provide a platform for the NTRCs and ECTEL to discuss their budgets and work plan for the financial year 2022/2023. It was also used to provide an update on the Universal Service Fund (USF) projects in each Member State and share lessons regarding the projects’ implementation, a release from ECTEL states.

Among those who made presentations was Secretary/ Director of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Apollo Knights.

He said some of the main programmes being undertaken include a review and update of the National Broadband plan for the nation which formed part of a pledge to the International Telecommunication Union initiative on connecting people everywhere; the execution of the 24/7 online project comprising four lots covering the provision of free wireless internet access at community centres, learning resource centres, playing fields, NGOs and some tourist sites. He also mentioned that a new tourism app would be completed soon.

Knights said the app will support the creation of more local content as well as help support eco-tourism.

Secretary/Coordinator of NTRC Grenada, Lawrence Samuel identified several achievements attained over the last 20 years which include the promotion of open competition and the promotion of ubiquitous access and update of telecommunication services, amongst others. However, despite the achievements he said there are still a few gaps to be addressed such as the need to ensure greater quality of service monitoring. Some of the USF projects being undertaken in Grenada include a project on public safety and disaster management, a Solar ICT Centre built in a rural community and the staging of an Intergenerational Boot Camp where computer literacy and skills were relayed to participants over 40 years old.

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