ICT-related Laws and Policies in Trinidad and Tobago

These series of posts on the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society’s website documents the various Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related laws and policies that have been introduced and/or proposed in Trinidad and Tobago either in the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament or by various Government ministries, and the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) since 1999.

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society has commented on many of these policies and links to our comments have also been provided.

Furthermore. we have also linked to local copies of policies that have disappeared with the removal and/or redesign of government websites over time.

ICT Related Laws and Policies sorted by Year

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

How laws are passed in Trinidad and Tobago

(This is a layperson’s understanding of the process. A lot of information was obtained from the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament’s website.)

Laws are introduced and passed in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago which consists of the President of Trinidad and Tobago and two bodies, a House of Representatives and a Senate. The House of Representatives has forty one (41) elected representatives of the constituencies in Trinidad and Tobago. The Senate has 31 senators appointed by the President, sixteen on the advice of the Prime Minister ; six on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition; and nine Independents appointed by the President.

Proposed laws are introduced in either in the House of Representatives or in the Senate as a Bill (Note: certain types of Bills known as “Money Bills” cannot be introduced in the Senate) . The Bill is debated and after a vote, is passed with or without amendments. This Bill (as passed) is then introduced in the other chamber of Parliament where it is similarly debated, possibly amended and voted on.

If there are no amendments to the Bill in the second chamber, then the Bill is passed.

If there are amendments to the Bill in the second chamber, the amendments have to be voted by the chamber where the Bill was first introduced.

Once the Bill in its final form has been approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Bill as passed becomes an Act. Depending on the the legislation, the Act comes into effect on the Date of Assent, and/or when proclaimed by the President.

 

TTCS final comments on TATT’s Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society has submitted its comments on the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)’s Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; local TTCS copy ;  1034K)

Read / View TTCS comments on Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 285K)

 

TTCS F2F meeting on Saturday October 13 2018 from 1pm – finishing response to TATT’s discussion paper on proposed regulations for Internet users in Trinidad and Tobago

excerpt from TATT’s discussion paper on net neutrality

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) will be having a F2F meeting on Saturday October 13 2018 from 1pm at Engineering Consultants, 112A Edward Street (corner of Oxford and Edward Streets), Port of Spain.

At this meeting, we will be working to finish the TTCS’ response (Google doc ; no account required to comment) to the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago’s proposed Internet regulations for Trinidad and Tobago.

Please RSVP to [email protected] if you are attending this meeting.

 

 

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago proposed guiding principles and policy recommendations on net neutrality and OTT services in Trinidad and Tobago. – please read and comment before October 12 2018

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)’s Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 63 pages ; 1034K) is out for public comments until October 12 2018.

About Net Neutrality

What is Net Neutrality? From Wikipedia: Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers treat all data on the Internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.

About Over the Top Services (OTT)

OTT refers to “services that a customer may use which rides on top of a network to which the customer is connected” (CANTO, 2014) – which covers anything that is sent and received over the Internet from webpages to email to Voice over IP (VoIP) and video chat services (like Skype, Whatsapp, Google Duo), Messaging services (like Whatsapp, Apple iMessage, Google Allo) to video and audio streaming (like YouTube, Netflix, Facebook Video).

About TATT’s discussion paper on net neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago

In TATT’s discussion paper, TATT proposes several guiding principles and policy recommendations for Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago. These proposed principles and recomendations WILL impact current and future Internet users and businesses in Trinidad and Tobago in how we use the Internet. Please therefore read the discussion paper and contribute to the TTCS response to the discussion paper (Google doc, no login needed) before October 12 2018 by following the links below, and read about TATT’s proposed principles and recommendations for Net Neutrality and OTT Services.

TATT proposed Guiding Principles for Net Neturality

Principle 1: Reasonable Traffic Management

  1. The Authority recognises that well-functioning broadband networks require operators to manage their networks reasonably.
  2. Traffic management techniques that are reasonable and serve to address specific needs should be allowed.

Principle 2: No Unreasonable Discrimination

  1. The Authority proposes net neutrality rules that specifically prohibit network operators from intentionally downgrading and/or blocking lawful content, applications and/or services.
  2. Discriminatory practices may be allowed for societal issues such as: bridging the digital divide, public safety, emergency situations, law enforcement and national security issues, and child pornography.

Principle 3: Encouraging Investment

  1. Net neutrality policy decisions should ensure that market opportunities and investment prospects are not unduly disrupted.
  2. Net neutrality policy decisions should encourage a climate of regulatory certainty that incentivises investment, e.g., through sector stability and the expectation of reasonable rates of return on investment opportunities.

Principle 4: Transparency

  1. Network operators should disclose their network practices inclusive of traffic management practices and application-specific behaviour.
  2. The disclosure of traffic management information that is commercially sensitive in nature, or which may compromise the security of a network, should be exempted from the principle of transparency.

Principle 5: Promoting Local Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  1. Any policy framework on net neutrality should be guided by the stimulation of local innovation and entrepreneurship.

TATT’s proposed policy recommendations for net neutrality

On Blocking and Throttling

  1. An ISP should not prevent (through blocking) end users from freely accessing and/or providing lawful information, content, services and applications.
  2. Subject to the principle of reasonable traffic management, an ISP should not intentionally restrict, alter, degrade or impair specific content, services or applications.

On Paid Prioritisation and Zero-Rated Pricing

  1. The Authority proposes penalising harmful and proven offences as opposed to the absolute banning of paid prioritisation and zero-rating practices.
  2. Each case should be evaluated on its individual merit and regulatory action would only be warranted where there is violation of one or more of the guiding principles.

View / Download
Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago
(PDF ; 1034K)

TATT’s proposed regulation of OTT Services

Classification 1: Functionally Equivalent OTT Services

  1. OTTs which are functionally equivalent to traditional services and use numbering resources to connect to the PSTN [Public Switch Telephone Network] should be regulated in the same manner as traditional telecommunications services.
  2. Amendments to the Authority’s Authorisation Framework will be required to reflect classification 1 OTT services.

Classification 2: Other OTT Services

  1. The Authority may consider taking a light-handed regulatory approach to OTT services not requiring numbering or spectrum resources.
  2. Amendments to the Authority’s Authorisation Framework will be required to reflect classification 2 OTT services.
  3. General regulatory controls should be applied to these services. These include, inter alia, cybersecurity, data protection, child pornography, intellectual property rights, national security and privacy controls.

 

 

TTCS comments on TATT’s Discussion Paper on Android Boxes in Trinidad and Tobago submitted

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society has submitted its comments on the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)  “Discussion Paper on Android Boxes in Trinidad and Tobago” (PDF ; 666K ; 22 pages).

View the TTCS comments on TATT’s Discussion Paper on Android Boxes in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 275K)

 

TATT publishes “Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and Over the Top (OTT) Services in Trinidad and Tobago” for comments until September 7 2018

(Update: TATT has extended comments to Friday September 21 2018)

(Update2: TATT has further extended comments to Friday October 12 2018)

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has published a Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ;  1034K )

The purpose of this 63 page discussion paper is to examine “both sides of the net neutrality debate within the context of Trinidad and Tobago and proposes guiding principles and recommendations for net neutrality. The paper considers to what extent net neutrality regulation is desirable in an era of growing OTT applications and services, and proposes policy positions to this effect.”

Furthermore, the objectives of this paper are to:
i. explore the nature of OTT services as they relate to voice, media and messaging.
ii. present the key principles underlying both sides of the net neutrality debate.
iii. examine the policy issues relating to net neutrality and OTT services.
iv. propose guiding principles for net neutrality in Trinidad and Tobago.
v. make recommendations for the regulation of net neutrality and OTTs in Trinidad and Tobago.

View / Download
Discussion Paper on Net Neutrality and OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago
(PDF ; 1034K)

Interested persons are asked to submit comments on this document in accordance with the TATT’s Public Consultation Comment Submission Form on or before Friday 7 September 2018.

 

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) releases “Discussion Paper on Android Boxes in Trinidad and Tobago” for comments until August 10 2018

(Update August 16 2018 – TATT has extended the deadline for comments to Friday 24th August, 2018. Do comment on the TTCS draft comments on TATT’s discussion paper on Android Boxes in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has released  the discussion paper “Discussion Paper on Android Boxes in Trinidad and Tobago” (PDF ; 666K ; 22 pages) on June 25 2018.

The objectives of this Dicussion Paper are to:
1. Introduce the concept of Android boxes, and their nature and prevalence within the Trinidad and Tobago market.
2. Assess the impact of Android boxes in Trinidad and Tobago from the service provider’s perspective.
3. Assess the impact of Android boxes in Trinidad and Tobago from the consumer’s perspective.
4. Present other countries’ approaches to the issue, especially with respect to its legality.
5. Identify the legislative remit of the Authority in addressing any issues related to Android boxes.
6. Present possible solutions and recommendations that may be undertaken by the Authority.

The TATT website notes that “Interested persons are asked to submit comments on this document in accordance with the Authority’s Public Consultation Comment Submission Form on or before Friday 10th August, 2018.”

View / Download Discussion Paper on Android Boxes in Trinidad and Tobago” (PDF ; 666K ; 22 pages).

(Update : 26 June 2018 – a TTCS Google doc to collect comments to comment on this discussion has been started. You do not need a Google account to comment on the document)

 

TTCS followup comments on the Cybercrime Bill 2017 submitted to Trinidad and Tobago Parliament Joint Select Committee on June 14 2018

 

After the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society submitted its comments to the Trinidad and Tobago Parliment Joint Select Committee appointed to consider and report on the Cybercrime Bill on May 17 2018, the Joint Select Committee (JSC) requested followup information specifically on clause 8 and 18.

A Google doc was again created to gather our followup comments and the TTCS has submitted its followup comments to the JSC on June 14 2018.

View the TTCS followup comments to JSC re: Cybercrime Bill 2017 (PDF ; 180K)

 

Draft TTCS followup comments on the Trinidad and Tobago Cybercrime Bill 2017 – please review!

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS ; http://ttcs.tt) presented its comments on the Cybercrime BIll 2017 before the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament’s Joint Select Committee of the Cybercrime Bill (JSC) at their Sixth Meeting of the JSC on Thursday May 17, 2018.

You can read the TTCS comments on the Cybercrime Bill 2017 and watch the recording of the Sixth Meeting of the JSC on YouTube.

The TTCS is drafting a followup response to the JSC as it relates to clause 18 of the Bill (“Causing harm by communication using a computer system”).

Please view and comment on the draft TTCS followup response to the JSC dated June 11 2018. You do not need a Google account to comment and we are seeking to submit this by Wednesday or earlier.

TTCS submission of comments on Cybercrime 2017 to the Trinidad and Tobago Joint Select Committee on May 17 2018

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society has submitted its followup comments on the Cybercrime Bill 2017 to the Joint Select Committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament (JSC) on May 17 2018.

View the TTCS comments submitted to the JSC on May 17 2018 (282K)

Representatives Dev Anand Teelucksingh, Jacqueline Morris and Ryan Shirpat of the TTCS also appeared in person before the JSC on May 17 2018 at 2:30pm to share comments on the Cybercrime Bill as well as respond to questions posed by the JSC.

Watch the meeting of the TTCS before the JSC on May 17 2018 on YouTube .

 

Share your thoughts on the Trinidad and Tobago Cybercrime Bill 2017

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS ; http://ttcs.tt) has been updating our comments on the Cybercrime Bill 2017 in response to an invitation by the Joint Select Committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament next week.

You can view and comment on the Google document of the TTCS comments on the Cybercrime Bill at https://www.ttcs.tt/cybercrime2017-comments where a third column has been added to incorporate our new comments since June last year.

You do not need a Google account to comment.