In June 2010, the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society put together some comments regarding the laptops-for-children program (in which every child going on to secondary school will be provided with a laptop) that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago was proposing to implement for September 2010. These comments were forwarded to the Ministry of Education.
The Ministry of Public Admin (MPA) has released a “Draft National Policy on Electronic Business for Trinidad and Tobago” around July 2008 for comment.
According to this document, the aim of the policy is :
To develop a vibrant and sustainable e-Business industry that will contribute to the transformation of Trinidad and Tobago’s economic paradigm towards one that has a significant knowledge base, through:
Strengthening the Nation’s infrastructure;
Clarifying market place rules;
Developing the Nation’s human resources; and
Developing the Nation’s R&D and Innovation Capacity.
The objectives of the draft national policy :
This policy framework intends to identify actions that the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GoRTT) will need to take in order to create an economic, infrastructural and human resource environment in which e-Business opportunities can thrive. These actions will be taken in collaboration with the private sector, academia, NGO’s and citizens. In this regard, the proposals herein are structured to minimize the direct intervention of Government in taking these proposals forward. This is to encourage increased competitiveness of the ICT sector in Trinidad and Tobago.
The deadline for comments was October 13 2008 and required comments to be submitted online at http://ebusiness.fastforward.tt/business/townhall
The TTCS submitted the comments after having a wiki page to document answers respond to the questions in the draft policy, followed by a F2F meeting on October 11 2008.
In late October 2006, the Ministry of Public Administration and Information (MPAI) has published a discussion paper on “the role of Open Source Software in Trinidad and Tobago”. From the document
“The aim of this paper is review the role of the Open Source Software (OSS) model within the broader societal goals of economic and social development. The issues discussed herein shall be critical to further engage the Public Service and the wider national ICT sector in developing an action plan going forward. Such a national discourse and action plan will go a long way in meeting the objectives of fastforward, the National ICT Plan, and the regional action plan for the information society, eLAC2007.
In pursuing the above aim, this consultation paper attempts to: (i) address the major risks cited against the use of the OSS model; (ii) identify uses of the OSS model in various segments of the industry; and (iii) gain feedback proposing a way forward, with opportunity and threats, for OSS in the developmental objectives of Trinidad and Tobago.”
The Internet Bandwidth Management document makes these points :
that the cost of external Internet bandwidth and the hosting of content outside of Trinidad and Tobago is detrimental to the local economy and is a hurdle to e-commerce and content development and to the success of Government’s Fastforward initiative.
that methods should be taken to reduce the usage of external Internet bandwidth. These include
the hosting of content locally in Trinidad and Tobago which would
act as a catalyst for local content being released under Creative Commons and for the marketing of proprietary content.
create a robust foundation for e-Business/e-Commerce.
act as a catalyst for use of local content based services such as data warehousing and tele-medicine.
employ techniques for efficient utilisation of bandwidth such as compression of content/data and caching servers.
local ISPs peering through a national IXP to facilitate local hosting.
This draft policy was released by the Telecommmunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) in December 2004. The deadline for comments on this policy was December 31st, 2004. The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) obtained this paper document and scanned and converted it to a PDF in late December 2004.
In January 2005, the TATT website came online and has made available the policy.
This draft policy was released by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) in December 2004. The deadline for comments on this policy was December 31st, 2004. The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) had obtained these paper documents and scanned and converted it into a PDF in late December 2004.
In January 2005, the TATT website came online and has made available these draft policies for download.
The Data Protection Policy applies to all personal information collected, used or disclosed by private sector and public sector organizations in the course of commercial or government related activity. Key among the Data Protection Policy provisions are:
organizations are required to seek the consent of individuals prior to collecting, using or disclosing their personal information;
organizations must protect personal information with security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information; and
individuals may access personal information about themselves held by an organization and have it corrected, if necessary.
This Data Protection Policy is based on the North American Model and meant to be compliant with rigorous standards for the protection of personal data as outlined in the European Union’s Data Protection Directive and takes into consideration the objectives of fastforward while focusing on the need to be compliant with the target market laws on which we are focused including compliance with the US HIPAA Act.
The Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2004 was introduced in the House of Representatives in March 2004. The introductory text of the Bill states :
“These amendments to the Telecommunications Act 2001 purport, inter alia, to bring clarity to provisions considered ambiguous, to encourage investment by creating and sustaining a framework for fair competition and to ensure the availability of quality services at affordable prices; all of the foregoing being required by the International Telecommunications Union and the World Trade Organisation in respect of legislative reform in the telecommunications/ICT industry.”
The Explanatory Notes for modifying the definition of “public telephone service” “..will make it abundantly clear that the Authority will regulate the delivery of all public voice services irrespective of the means used to provide the service (e.g., VOIP)”
Page 3 of the Explanatory Notes for the definition of “value added service” states that : “The existing definition creates ambiguity with respect to the classification of ISPs. Government’s policy requires the regulation of ISPs as public data telecommunications service providers. The revised definition (of value added services) is in accordance with this policy prescription as the definition makes it clearer that value added services are services that provide content and shall not include services by which such content is provided. ……
Various comments/opinions of the Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill :
The Telecommunications Amendment Bill, 2004 was passed in the House of Representatives on the 20th April, 2004. It was passed in the Senate with amendments on 18th May 2004. The House of Representatives approved the Senate Amendments on the 26 May 2004. It was assented to on June 14th, 2004.
Trinidad and Tobago Parliament’s website on the Telecommunication Amendment Bill, 2004. Contains the transcripts of the speakers in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and other information as the Bill went through Parliament.
In early May 2004, the Ministry of Public Administration & Information released a proposed policy “to exempt licensing of systems operating in the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz Industrial, Scientific & Medical (ISM) Bands for the provision of affordable wireless connectivity and Broadband Internet Access”.
The proposed policy recommends the use of 2.4GHz systems (such as 802.11b, 802.11g, Bluetooth) to be deployed within the constraints of or between the user’s premises for non-third party applications and 5.8GHz systems (such as 802.11a) to be deployed for both public and private network services.
The deadline for comments from the public on this proposed policy was Friday 28th May 2004.
Our main point in the comments on the proposed policy :
The 2.4GHz band should be given the same privileges as the 5.8GHz band and let users/market forces decide which band is more appropriate for their needs. In other words, 2.4GHz systems should be allowed to be deployed for both public and private network services, just like 5.8GHz systems.
Spectrum Plan for Accommodation of Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Services.
In April 2006, the Telecommmunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) published a Spectrum Plan for Accommodation of Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Services for comment. “..This plan proposes spectrum bands based on current wireless access technologies and sets out the approach to be adopted by the Authority towards licensing of these bands.”
The Minister of Public Administration and Information announced the National policy on Broadcast and the Broadcasting Industry in the Senate on Tuesday 20th January 2004 and was made available for download from the NICT/FastForward website in February 2004.