Turks & Caicos Islands Moves To Strengthen Local Digital Economy

Turks & Caicos Islands Moves To Strengthen Local Digital Economy

ARIN, ICANN, Cenerva, TCI Regulator Tackle Internet Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Number Portability

The government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is committed to developing the local digital economy. To ensure that the right foundation is set, the British Overseas Territory will be focusing in the coming months on cybersecurity, critical internet infrastructure and public education with the assistance of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication, Vaden Williams, outlined government plans at the opening ceremony of the TCI ICT Roadshow, in Providenciales.

The event was hosted by the TCI Regulatory Commission in collaboration with ARIN and ICANN.

Since 2014,  the TCI Telecommunications Industry have seen a 19.23%  increase in mobile perpetration rate from 130% to 155%, Fixed-line service decrease by 23.5% from 17%-13% and broadband services have seen a  penetration  increase of 237.5%  from 8% - 27%.

“These statistics confirm the theory that for TCI and the world data is the most valuable resource. The TCI must therefore ensure that its government, businesses and residents are adequately prepared to maximize the potential of the Internet, if it is secure its economic interests and meet its social development goals,” said Minister Williams.

The TCI Telecommunications Commission has identified the need to take deliberate steps to create a sound foundation to support development of the digital economy in the Turks and Caicos,” said Kenva Williams, acting Director General of the country’s telecommunications regulator.

“Ensuring there is a clear national understanding of how the Internet economy works is an important first step for the TCI. This will involve specific initiatives to raise awareness in the territory of role of critical internet infrastructure, Internet policy and cybersecurity.

"The TCI ICT Roadshow is a key part of our strategy to achieve this. And we were very pleased to secure the support of two leading Internet development organizations that serve the Caribbean, ARIN and ICANN,” said Minister Williams.

Bevil Wooding, ARIN’s Caribbean outreach liaison, and Albert Daniels, ICANN’s Caribbean Stakeholder Engagement Sr Manager and James Wild, Managing Partner at Cenerva were feature speakers at the event.

“Given the rapid pace of development on the Internet, the ICT Roadshow is the start of a series of outreach and capacity building awareness initiatives to be spearheaded by the Commission. In the coming months we hope to facilitate creation of a multi-stakeholder group to coordinate the development national plans.” said Pedro Ariza, Chairman of the TCI Regulatory Commission.

“Beyond plans, we also hope that such a group can also oversee the implementation of specific initiatives like a national cybersecurity strategy and establishment of a local Internet exchange point.” added Pedro Ariza

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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