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Calls for more unified approach to key issues with education seen as critical
BOSTON (February 24th, 2009) — In a panel session entitled “Achieving Optimum International and Regional Telecom Connectivity”, Julian Rawle, Managing Partner at Pioneer Consulting, led a discussion with representatives from key Caribbean island markets on overcoming key challenges to providing the necessary access to international bandwidth.
The panel concluded that “optimum connectivity” meant different things to different people. From an incumbent carrier’s perspective, it meant planning sufficient capacity for the next three years; from a CLEC’s point of view, it meant offering the lowest price; and a global service provider offered a vision of expanded network services.
The panel went on to consider options for improving access and concluded that education of the Caribbean populations is critical to ensure that there is an adequate skills base available within the region. The panel also identified cheap PCs, deficit financing, and the penetration of fixed and mobile broadband as critical drivers for improving access.
The discussion then turned to how these drivers might be better facilitated. The panel concluded that a more unified approach from Caribbean governments would serve all interested parties well and suggest that the conference organizers, Capacity Media, should invite representatives from suitable neutral bodies to debate this issue at the next event.
A second panel session, also moderated by Julian Rawle, looked at drivers of demand, capacity availability, services and applications and latest technologies in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Dominican Republic, as well as globally.
This panel concluded that efforts to attract global enterprises to come to the Caribbean were hampered by a lack of skills and relatively high costs, especially for power and telecom connectivity. On the subject of international capacity, the panel felt that the island markets under consideration had sufficient connectivity for the foreseeable future but opportunities in other Caribbean islands remain.
In summarizing the outcome of the panel sessions, Julian Rawle thanked Capacity Media for organizing this important annual event which brings together all the movers and shakers of the Caribbean telecom market and advocated collaboration among the islands’ telecom communities to address impediments to growth.
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