Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 20, 2019 (SKNIS): As high-speed Internet access continues to be of critical importance to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and all necessary stakeholders, a National Broadband Strategy is one step closer to being realized in the Federation.
This realization became clearer on Tuesday, August 20, when several private and public sector stakeholders involved in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) assembled at the Solid Waste Management Corporation Conference Room for a week-long (August 19-23) consultation on developing the St. Kitts-Nevis National Broadband Strategy.
In addressing stakeholders during the opening ceremony, Minister with responsibility for Communications, the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr. noted that such a strategy is extremely important.
“This roll out of a broadband strategy is critical and it is imperative that we do so. It cannot be done without a strategic plan –where we go, what we expect what the outcomes could be – …there must be a structured way in which it is done,” said Minister Byron. “We must understand what we are doing, where we want to go and from that, we can develop the plan, and the implementation becomes better and you get more ‘bang for your buck’.”
He further stated that broadband is a critical infrastructure in the Federation
“Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the 21st Century. Broadband, like electricity and water, road networks, is a public good. It is a critical infrastructure. The internet broadband is a critical infrastructure of our country just like our road network, electricity and water,” said Minister Byron. “…Broadband is recognized as a foundation for sustainable economic growth, enabling the development of new industries and creating new jobs that involve creative and innovative thinking that lead to more resilience, and that adapt to new challenges and embrace new opportunities for advancement and our movement forward into a digital economy,” he added.
The communications minister added that “broadband is a key driver for innovation in ICTs and it is an enabler for transformation, for change for national development, and improvement in the life of everyone in our country.”
The consultation is organized by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis with support from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization. (CTO).
Facilitated by Dr. Martin Koyabe, Consultant, CTO, and Sylvester Cadette, Programme Officer, ITU, the consultations are held with the aim of engaging the stakeholders to establish an effective framework and an enabling environment that will optimize, standardize and increase access to broadband applications and services throughout the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.