The ministries of Public Health and Industry & Commerce have issued an invitation to programmers to enter a contest to develop an app, that will enable consumers to use their mobile phones to report expired products being sold in stores. The announcement was made by Director of the Food, Pharmaceuticals and Sanitary Product Agency (Digemaps) Karina Mena, and deputy minister of Industry and Commerce, Ignacio Méndez.
Mena said that the "hackathon” is also aimed at deterring the sale of fraudulent pharmaceuticals. The app would include a rumor-reporting mechanism so that normal citizens can report infractions when in the store through their mobile or other electronic media.
The plan is also to use the app at airports and sea ports to detect fraudulent merchandise.
ECTEL Chief Explains The Importance Of Net Neutrality
ECTEL has signalled it’s intention to push through with Net Neutrality legislation among the five member states of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
We sat down with Managing Director of ECTEL Mr. Embert Charles to discuss what this means for consumers and to answer the charge by service providers that the providers of Over The Top (OTT) Services are not paying their way,
ECTEL’s position is that all data should be treated equally by Internet Service Providers – ISPs, there should be no preferential treatment of throttling or blocking of data or services. We asked Mr. Charles how does he respond to the ISP’s claims that the Over The Top Service Providers such as Google, FaceBoot, Netflix and WhatsApp are not paying to support the networks or contributing to government taxes and the Universal Service (USF)?
Mr. Charles stated, “It’s a difficult area to regulate, but it’s not one that has not been done by other regulators before. But I think we need to establish a number of things. One is that service providers are actually giving priority to some existing Over The Top Service providers so what one is arguing is that something that might be detrimental to their business is being encouraged I guess in the interest of that same business.”
Charles went on to cite an example of how a small content provider or Over The Top Service provider could be disadvantaged by failure to enforce or adopting net neutrality.
“You can use a simple example of content provider who has developed a very viable relevant applicable service for a small country like St. Kitts and Nevis, and that is blocked because that service provider doesn’t have any clout or doesn’t have a relationship with a service provider and as a result disadvantages several citizens who may want to access the app. So we hold hard and fast to that principal it has been codified in our new legislation, and where as some people maybe living in fear the legislation simply gives us the framework to design the rules for net neutrality.