Jamaican Jazz Maestro Monty Alexander Brings Love Notes To Queens, NY For The Holidays
CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Dec. 12, 2018: Jamaican-born, Grammy-nominated international jazz maestro, Monty Alexander, CD, is set to make his first US performance this holiday as a newly-minted honorary Doctorate of Letters of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus.
Alexander, who has made his mark globally for his own brand of [...]
Grupo Therrestra to build most part of the new Club Med project in Miches
The Caribbean company of Dominican origin specialized in Design, Construction and Supervision, will execute 55 Villas for a total of 129 rooms and a modern Central Building in the Club Med project.
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Dec. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Grupo Therrestra, led by Engineer Hugo Pérez Ovalles, has inserted its characteristic identity stamp, based on: [...]
Canadian Black woman filmmaker presents the acclaimed feature film
CaribPR Wire, Toronto, ON, Mon. Dec. December 10, 2018: Inspired by the life and times of Mr. Ulric Cross, political activist in the 50s and 60s, filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon’s acclaimed feature film, HERO, makes its Canadian theatrical premiere on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at the Royal [...]
Tourism, Food Security Among High-potential Areas for Expanding UAE-Caribbean Cooperation
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Tourism, food security, manufacturing, logistics, and renewable energy have been identified as high-potential areas where companies in the UAE and Caribbean region can expand economic cooperation, according to new analysis from Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The findings, released on sidelines of the first [...]
Proman Increases Trinidad and Tobago’s Natural Gas Supply to Petrochemical Plants
DeNovo delivers first commercial supply of natural gas from Iguana Field after more than 30 years of remaining undeveloped
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, Nov. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — DeNovo Energy Limited (”DeNovo”), a subsidiary of the Proman Group (”Proman”), has today announced the first commercial supply of gas from the Iguana [...]
After almost two years at RIM, I am pleased to announce that I have taken on a new role as Director of Intellectual Property Policy at Microsoft. As my new title suggests, my work at Microsoft does not include telecom and broadcasting regulation - it is focused on IP Policy issues. Therefore, I do not expect that I will be updating the Caribbean Communications Law and Regulation blog in the near future. Instead, I have decided to start a new blog focused on Caribbean IP issues. I sincerely believe that the development of a modern IP legislative framework in the Caribbean is an important building block to promote economic growth and prosperity in the region. I am hoping that this blog will play a small role to stimulate the discussion within the Caribbean IP and policymaking community.
I am pleased to announce that, effective January 4th, 2011, I have taken on the role of Public Policy Counsel at Research in Motion in Waterloo, Canada. I am now part of the RIM Legal Department and my work is focused on global regulatory and public policy matters. Since my work is no longer centered on the Caribbean, I do not expect to update this blog on a regular basis. I hope that you found it to be helpful. If you have any question, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Television and Radio Broadcasting Services: ECTEL proposes to modify some of the frequencies allocated to broadcasters including 1605-1705 kHz (AM radio stations), 88.1-88.9 (low-power FM community radio stations), 235-267 MHz (digital audio broadcast services), 335 MHz-399 MHz (studio-to-transmitter links), 454.975-462.5625 MHz and 467.7125-470 MHz (outside broadcast television and radio).
GSM Services: The consultation document proposes to allocate the 912-915 MHz band to GSM service in Dominica. This proposal may prove to be problematic as this band is currently allocated to ISM by the ITU-T in Region 2 countries, which includes Dominica. ECTEL also proposes to allocate, in all ECTEL countries, the 1710-1990 MHz band to GSM service and the 1990-2025 MHz band to "future Mobile Services; eg 3G mobile services".
Broadband Services: While the wording of the consultation document is somewhat unclear, it appears that ECTEL intends to allocate the 3.4-3.6 GHz band to fixed WiMax service and the 2.3-2.4 GHz band to mobile WiMax service. There would be provision for licences to be awarded to four providers with 25 MHz each (5 blocks of 5 MHz each), plus one operator with 22 MHz (3 blocks of 5 MHz each, and one block of 7 MHz), in each band. In addition, 120 MHz of spectrum would be made available in the 2.5 GHz band. This spectrum would be assigned to a maximum of four operators (2 blocks of 15 MHz each) on a technology-neutral basis as this band can be used for WiMAX, IMT 2000 and MMDS service.
Land Mobile Services: ECTEL is proposing to allocate the 148-174 MHz band to VHF land mobile band (with 156-163 MHz allocated for maritime mobile use) in order to facilitate the implementation of a nationwide/regional public-private network for emergency, Government, Police, etc.
In their respective submissions, Digicel and LIME requested that ECTEL modify these proposals in order to accommodate the spectrum requirements of products they intend to offer in the Eastern Caribbean in the near future (and which they currently offer in Jamaica). Digicel's submission disagreed with ECTEL's proposal to limit the assignments to 30 MHz per operator within the 2.5 GHz band. According to Digicel, this is an insufficient allocation of spectrum given the volume of traffic that is expected to be generated by WiMax services. Instead, it suggested that the available 120 MHz of spectrum be assigned to a maximum of two operators (4 blocks of 15 MHz each). This suggestion was presumably an attempt by Digicel to harmonize the WiMax spectrum allocation in the Eastern Caribbean with its own WiMax licence in Jamaica.
LIME's submission was more focused on mobile television services. It requested that ECTEL clarify which of the frequencies set aside for broadcasting services would encompass mobile television service. In addition, LIME requested that the UHF band (470-862 MHz) be made available for mobile TV services. Again, LIME's arguments appeared to be an attempt to harmonize the frequency allocations in the Eastern Caribbean with its own mobile television licence in Jamaica.
Last week, the Conseil National des Télécommunications (CONATEL), the telecommunications regulator in Haiti, adopted new guidelines for the interconnection of telecommunication networks. These guidelines provide detailed information on the procedure to be followed by new operators seeking to interconnect with existing operators, the content of interconnection agreements and the role of CONATEL in resolving interconnection disputes.
To my knowledge, these are the first interconnection guidelines issued by CONATEL since the Haitian telecommunications market was opened to competition in 1999. Under their current licences, the operators are required to negotiate interconnection agreements, but little regulatory guidance is provided for the negotiation of these agreements (see, for example, art. 11 of the Teleco licence). Whilst the operators have done their best over the past few years to negotiate interconnection agreements, the rights and responsibilities of each party (and of CONATEL) were not clearly specified under Haitian law.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Haiti has faced several interconnection disputes over the past decade. In the summer of 2006, for example, Le Nouvelliste reported that Digicel was refusing to sign the interconnection agreement previously signed by Comcel et Haitel. This dispute was eventually resolved, in September 2006, when Digicel, HaiTel and Comcel signed interconnection agreements. Later, in October 2007, the incumbent fixed-line provider, Teleco (recently purchased by Viettel, the largest Vietnamese telecom operator) ceased all interconnection with Haitel due to non-payment of interconnection fees. This dispute was later resolved, following a ruling of the Haitian courts.
Interconnection disputes will continue to be a fact of life in the Haitian telecommunications market, despite the adoption of these guidelines. However, the adoption of these guidelines will clarify the rights and obligations of the parties. This, in turn will make Haiti a more attractive and predictable market for investors wishing to enter the telecommunications market.
On Friday, the Bermuda Sun reported that Digicel has launched a court challenge of a decision of the Bermuda Department of Planning, which denied Digicel's request for retroactive approval of a 35ft cellular tower.
According to the Sun's article, the Department determined in 2009 that a 23ft pole had been erected by Digicel on Knapton Hill, Smith’s, with the agreement of the landowner, but without the prior approval of the Department. A retroactive application was subsequently submitted, but then withdrawn after Digicel realized that this property is not zoned for trade or business. A few months later, in February 2010, Digicel was ordered to remove the tower. Instead of complying with this order, Digicel replaced the 23 ft tower with a 35 ft one.
In March 2010, Compu-Cad Ltd filed a retroactive application on behalf of Digicel to retain the structure. This request was denied on the basis it was contrary to the zoning order and had an “adverse visual impact” on neighbouring property. The board also noted that Digicel had shown “a blatant disregard for the planning process”. Digicel then appealed the decision to the Minister responsible for Planning, Glenn Blakeney, who dismissed the appeal at the beginning of September.
The Department of Planning has now ordered Digicel to remove the tower by the end of this week. If Digicel does not comply with this order, the Department could decide to take enforcement action in the Supreme Court of Bermuda. Instead of waiting for this enforcement action, Digicel has decided to launch proceedings in the Supreme Court of Bermuda to challenge the denial of its planning application.
The Sun's article does not specify the legal arguments that Digicel intends to make before the Supreme Court. Therefore, it is difficult for me to comment on Digicel's chances of success. In other jurisdictions, however, it is quite common for telecom operators to encounter opposition to the construction of cellular towers and masts. Digicel has been involved in similar proceedings in several jurisdictions. In December 2003, for instance, an interim injunction was issued (and subsequently rescinded) by the Jamaica Supreme Court to stop the construction of a cell site in Saint Andrew, Jamaica.
More recently, Digicel was deemed by the chiefs on the island of Pentecost (Vanuatu, South Pacific) to have damaged an historical site when building a cellular tower. Digicel was sanctioned with the highest penalty the chiefs can impose for wrongdoing: 10 tusked pigs!
Destra injures ankle after falling off stage, see video
Trinidad & Tobago Soca star Destra Garcia is said to be in need of surgery after she fell off a stage in Bermuda and broke her ankle. LOOP news in Trinidad & Tobago reports that Garcia was performing at the Cup Match Summer Splash when the incident occurred. The video that captured the incident shows the “Queen of Bacchanal” talking to the audience when she suddenly fell off the stage. A group of people rushed to assist the singer who was removed via a stretcher. Her manager Brian Morris confirmed that she broke her ankle and is in need of […]
Travel Partners Train Caribbean Hospitality Sector on Diversity
MIAMI – Recognizing the changing dynamics in the global tourism industry and the imperative to meet customers’ needs and expectations, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) in partnership with two of its corporate partners, Interval International and Virgin Holidays, has launched a new program to support the training and development of Caribbean […]
New regulation to boost resort shopping in Jamaica next year
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – In an effort to induce more investment in shopping and get more tourism dollars from that attraction in Jamaica, a new regulation will be introduced by the Ministry of Tourism next year. Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett announced Thursday, December 13th that, “Cabinet is to consider the presentation shortly and […]
American Airline’s begins non-stop service from Miami to St. Vincent and the Grenadines
MIAMI – American Airlines made its inaugural non-stop flight from the Miami International Airport to the Argyle International Airport on Saturday December 15th 2018. The year-round AA 1427 service will operate on an Airbus A319 every Saturday leaving the Miami International Airport at 11:00 a.m. and arriving at the Argyle International Airport at 3:40 p.m.; the return […]
Sound Chat TV ‘Rocks’ Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise
MIAMI – The high seas were chock full of electrifying Reggae and Dancehall performances, activities and culturally relevant events during the 5th Annual Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise, December 1-6, 2018, but beyond the in-your-face entertainment was a whole separate world of amazing television programming. Capturing the attention of thousands on the famed cruise was […]
Fresco y Más donates $25,000 in food to Feeding South Florida
LAUDERHILL – Southeastern Grocers, Inc. (SEG), parent company of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores, together with the SEG Gives Foundation, has launched a company-wide Holiday Hunger Relief Program with dedicated partner, Feeding America®, to continue the fight against hunger. Fresco y Más presented local Feeding America partner Feeding South Florida with a […]
Reggae Artist Christopher Martin Takes Miami Art Basel 2018
Artist Performs at Let There Be Reggae and Attends Exclusive Events MIAMI – VP Records artist Christopher Martin, known for his artistic music and style was right in his element at Miami’s Art Basel last week. The reggae/dancehall artist recently released singles “Come Back” and “Bun fi Bun” featured on the upcoming “Strictly the Best” Compilation out this January. He […]
Bahamas People-to-People Program a hit with Florida Travel Agents
FORT LAUDERDALE – Authentic Bahamian cultural activities, including the Changing of the Guard at Government House and the country’s ‘People-to-People Experience,’ were a big hit for a recent group of Florida travel agents who visited Nassau for a Familiarization trip. The group included travel agents from the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando areas, all of whom […]
Increased Airlift To The Caribbean Fuels New Opportunities For The Region
MIAMI – The Caribbean’s private sector has a unique opportunity to generate strong profits in the new year with the unprecedented quantity of airlift coming into the region. Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Frank Comito, encouraged regional stakeholders to get ready for what the association believes can be […]
MIRAMAR – JN Money Services (USA) Inc. recognized Miramar Commissioner, Winston Barnes, who was described as a member of the company’s extended family, at a luncheon held in honor of him recently. Mr. Barnes, who was conferred with the Order of Distinction Commander Class by the Jamaican Government at the National Heroes’ Day awards ceremony […]
Recent abuses of St Kitts-Nevis citizenship programme raised in Parliament
By Caribbean News Now contributor BASSETERRE, St Kitts — In his budget presentation in parliament last week, St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris touched upon the abuses recently uncovered in the country’s citizenship by investment programme (CIP), including allegations of forgery and fraud, but offered no substantive detail and, predictably, blamed unnamed […]
CSEF VI highlights transformative role clean energy can play in CARICOM
PLACENCIA, Belize — Clean energy in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has to be further developed to play a transformative role in economic development, poverty alleviation, and building resilience to deal with climate change. Electricity and fuel sector regulations also must be right-sized to suit the needs of member states, and stakeholders must find innovative forms […]
IDB lends further support to CDB’s investments in regional energy security
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has mobilised more than US$85 million to increase the region’s energy security through geothermal energy development. On Thursday, CDB’s board of directors approved acceptance of further financing under the Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF) for the Eastern Caribbean from IDB, […]
CDB approves US$5.9 million to Belize to improve road safety efforts
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Road traffic accidents are the seventh leading cause of death in Belize, with approximately 21 deaths per 100,000 persons. This is the highest fatality rate among CDB’s 19 borrowing member countries (BMCs). In response to this challenge, the board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding of US$5.9 […]
American Airlines begins non-stop service to St Vincent
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — American Airlines made its inaugural non-stop flight from the Miami International Airport to the Argyle International Airport on Saturday December 15, 2018. The year-round AA1427 service will operate on an Airbus A319 every Saturday, leaving Miami International Airport at 11:00 am and arriving at the Argyle International Airport at 3:40 pm; […]
Antigua-Barbuda PM invites Scotiabank to early meeting to discuss purchase of Antigua holdings
ST JOHN’S, Antigua — Prime Minister Gaston Browne has invited the competent authorities of the Bank of Nova Scotia to a meeting by January 7, 2019, to discuss the purchase of the bank’s branch holdings in Antigua and Barbuda. The invitation is contained in a letter sent on December 13 by the prime minister to […]
By Ray Chickrie Caribbean News Now contributor PARAMARIBO, Suriname — Thirty-year old Nisha Madaran, an artist from Suriname, who began singing at age 16 in her family band, made history last week by becoming the first Surinamese, and perhaps first in the Caribbean diaspora to sign a Bollywood playback singing contract. Madaran signed the contract […]
Three suspected smugglers apprehended in the Eastern Caribbean with $30 million in cocaine
ST THOMAS, USVI — The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos offloaded 2,606 pounds of cocaine and transferred custody of three suspected smugglers on Friday to US Drug Enforcement Administration special agents in St Thomas US Virgin Islands. Coast Guard and Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) law enforcement authorities seized the $30 […]
Dominican Republic to scale up efforts in improving learning
WASHINGTON, USA — The World Bank has approved an additional financing of US$100 million to help the government improve the quality of education and learning in the Dominican Republic. “This additional support from the World Bank will boost the most profound education reform led by President Danilo Medina and contribute to help produce better educational […]
CDB launches Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced the launch of a new fund to provide financial support and stability for the region’s cultural and creative industries. The Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF) will provide grants for innovative projects within the creative industries sector. It was established with an initial US$2.6 […]