Turks & Caicos Government Evades Freedom of Information Debate
A private member’s motion submitted about a month ago by leader of the opposition, Sharlene Cartwright Robinson calling for the introduction of a Freedom of Information Ordinance in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), was evaded by the government during a two-day sitting of the House of Assembly on Monday and Tuesday.
Premier Dr Rufus Ewing, in his rearrangement of the agenda, reordered the parliamentary agenda in such a way that the private member’s motion would have been the final item under orders of the day, which included four bills and parliamentary questions.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) said it will continue to raise this issue and the importance of the passage of freedom of information laws as an essential part of good governance. “But more importantly, we stand firm that the people have a right to know and have access to information on what it's government is doing,” the PDM said.
Digicel Haiti Relaunches Mobile Money Service As Mon Cash
Digicel is relaunching its mobile money service “Tcho Tcho” under the new name “Mon Cash.” The new service, formed in partnership with Scotiabank, allows Digicel customers to withdraw, transfer and deposit money from their mobile phones, without a bank account. Users are also able to top-up their “mobile accounts, pay for goods and services at affiliated merchants and pay bills.”
In Haiti, where only 16 percent of the population have bank accounts, over 60 percent own mobile phones. To encourage adoption of the mobile money service, Digicel offers five times as many minutes for each top-up of a minimum HTG 10 over Mon Cash.
Digicel has also expanded the distribution network for Mon Cash. The mobile money service is available at all “authorized sales points for Digicel top-ups.” In order to register for the service, users will have to provide a government-issued ID.
More Net Neutrality Concerns as LIME is the Subject of Complaints of “Throttling” Data in the Caymans
An official complaint against LIME for “throttling” the data speeds of customers has been filed with the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) by Sandra Hill and other customers of the telecommunications company.
The telecommunications company has denied the allegations.“Throttling” is the intentional slowing of internet service by an internet service provider. Ms. Hill told The Cayman Reporter that she and many other customers have been experiencing a significant decrease in the speed of their internet over a period of months.
“It seems like in the past three weeks it’s gotten progressively worse, but I’ve always had people complain about a significant decrease in their speed for months now, so it’s been an ongoing issue,” she said. Managing Director of the ICTA Alee Fa’amoe said though the concept is not addressed specifically in the law, nor in individual licenses, the authority “would take a dim view of the practice unless there was a valid reason.”
He noted the recent complaint filed by Hill and others in regard to LIME’s internet speed was not the first. LIME responded to the allegations saying it “does not throttle its internet speed in any form”. “We’ve made a significant investment in the Broadband infrastructure in the Cayman Islands to deliver at least 15mbps to each and every home in Grand Cayman, with many customers being able to get 25Mbps. Ninety-five per cent of the homes now have access to Superfast Broadband,” said the LIME Marketing Executive, Carolyn Lawe-Smith.
OECS Business Think Tank & Hackathon Results
The results of the inaugural OECS Business Think Tank and Hackathon were announced today. The event which drew 124 attendees, from 8 countries and produced 11 software prototypes in just 3 days, culminated with the 11 teams making presentation of their applications to judges across the region and these scores were collated and assessed.
The results of the competition are as follows:
Digicrops an Online Farmer’s Market Place developed by a team from Montserrat placed first and will receive $3500 in prize money. With Antigua and Barbuda’s one stop marketplace CLink edging out Anguilla’s EdConnector for second place, each team will receive $2500 and $1000 respectively.
You can read more about all the teams and their applications by following the link in the transcript or searching for OECS Business Think Tank on Facebook.
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