SAN JUAN — Day one of the ongoing CANTO 32nd Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition which is currently taking place at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino from July 31st – August 5th was full of thought provoking and forward thinking discussions, presentations and panels.
One notable event coming out of the days proceeding’s was the signing ceremony of a Voluntary Code of Practice on Safeguarding the Open Internet. Chairman of CANTO, Julian Wilkins speaking after the signing said: “the region continues to grapple with the changing landscape of ICT, the signing of the Code is important as through CANTO it provides a unified approach which is sometimes needed, as compared to individual approaches.” He added that, “CANTO will continue to facilitate individual assistance as well as regional approach to ICT issues when and where needed”.
CEOS and Country Managers of the following companies signed the Code of Practice yesterday.
Digicel St. Kitts & Nevis
Digicel St. Vincent and the Grenadines
TELEM Group St Maarten
Digicel St Lucia
Digicel Antigua & Barbuda
Cable & Wireless Communications (all countries
The day opened with the Ministerial round table moderated by CANTO Chairman Julian Wilkins. Sitting on the round table were the Honourable, Medford Nicholas – Antigua and Barbuda, the Honourable Catherine Hughes of Guyana, and the Honourable Maxie Cuffie of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Ministers spoke openly about specific issues affecting their respective territories as well as issues requiring a regional approach. They in varying ways recognized the need for more dialogue among stakeholders in the region (govts, telcos) and the need for mechanisms to improve regional collaboration in telecoms.
Digicel’s Denis O’Brien, delivered a feature address as part of the morning session. In his address he mentioned several burning topics now engaging the region’s ICT agenda including Net Neutrality and safeguarding the Open Internet.
Day one also included a panel on Converged Regulation, sessions entitled “Technology on Steroids – Living in a Modern World”; “Strengthening Cooperation Between Telecoms Operators and National Disaster Offices”; Corporate Social Responsibility Awareness” and “Modernizing Regulatory Frameworks”.
In true Caribbean style the day ended with a social and networking event where delegates were able to interact with each other and enjoy some live Puerto Rican entertainment.
CANTO is recognized as the leading trade association of the ICT sector for shaping information and communication in the Caribbean. Founded in 1985 as a non-profit association of 8 telephone operating companies, CANTO has now grown to over 120 members in more than 31 countries. A Board of Directors appointed by the membership directs policy of the Association. This strategy is executed by the staff of a permanent Secretariat based in Trinidad and Tobago.