The University of the West Indies (UWI), in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the Spectrum Management Authority of Jamaica (SMA), will host the quarterly Caribbean Spectrum Management Task Force Meeting (SMTF) from 6th to 8th February 2023. It will be held at IberoStar, Rose Hall Beach, Jamaica and is the first physical gathering of the Task Force since the Pandemic. This meeting, hosted by UWI, will facilitate discussions about the regional harmonisation of spectrum management policies to bolster national development and strengthen intra-Caribbean ties. The Hon. Robert Nesta Morgan will give the keynote address.
The Spectrum Management Task Force (SMTF) is a multi-stakeholder team of Caribbean regulators and users of the electromagnetic spectrum, including telecommunication service providers, broadcasters and system developers, coordinated by the CTU since 2006 to foster regional harmonisation of spectrum management policies and practices and relevant capacity-building initiatives.
Professor Lloyd Waller, Professor of Digital Transformation Policy and Governance in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and one of the event organizers shared remarks about the event, “We are thrilled to be facilitating this conference. With spectrum demand continually increasing in this new digital era, it is crucial to discuss how to optimize the use of this resource. Jamaica is looking to be a digital society by 2030, and forums like this, where we can discuss how to use the spectrum effectively, will undoubtedly bring us closer to that goal. We are positive about the outcome and look forward to ongoing collaboration.”
The CTU is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting the development of the Caribbean information and communications technologies (ICT) sector for the region’s socio-economic development. The SMA is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy, and Technology and is the national regulator for the radio frequency spectrum.
Managing Director at Spectrum Management Authority, Jamaica, Dr. Maria Myers-Hamilton, shared the significance of this forum, “Digital technology has become an integral part of the lives of our citizenry and, by default, economic growth and development of any nation. The recent pandemic inevitably spotlighted the vital critical role of access to digitalization in the average citizen’s livelihood – it is therefore imperative that all Caribbean nations seek to implement and support regulation and/or policies that will scaffold the futureproofing of our digital landscape as a region.”
“The primary objective of this symposium is to assemble all key stakeholders – public and private interest groups to share various perspectives on connectivity as it relates to governments, businesses, media, safety, health and institutions of higher education, coupled with both local and regional non-profit organizations (NGOs) – the endgame being a harmonization approach on the way forward regarding policy and regulatory reforms that will ultimately enhance the lives of our Caribbean people,” Dr. Myers-Hamilton added.
Additionally, the ongoing work of the Spectrum Management Task Force and Spectrum Management Steering Committee (SMSC) will address crucial current matters arising.
Secretary-General of the CTU, Rodney Taylor, remarked, “The Caribbean Telecommunications Union is pleased to partner with the University of the West Indies, Mona, to host this event. The CTU is committed to fostering a regionally harmonized spectrum management environment which can lead to increased efficiency in usage of radio frequencies, facilitate the further development and deployment of advanced technologies and encourage greater regional cooperation, creating a more connected Caribbean.”
This workshop will be primarily in-person with limited facilities for various stakeholder participation via zoom.