In keeping with this year’s World Telecommunications Information Society Day Celebrations (WTISD), the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) honoured six stalwarts of communications in the BVI during an Awards Luncheon. .
Among the honourees were Ms. Linnell Abbott, Ms. Dora Harrigan and Mr. Vernon W. Pickering for print media; Mr. Dave Douglas for television broadcasting; Mr. Merit Herbert for Radio Broadcasting; and Mr. Arthur Swain in Memoriam.
During his remarks at the luncheon, Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool, stated, “I want to salute our honourees, who have been an integral part of the development of media technology in the Virgin Islands.”
He continued, “Each of you is to be highly commended for your pioneering interest in the field and for your passion and your dedication.”
Honourable Vanterpool also commended all the honourees for having to work under large constraints decades ago and persevering despite various challenges they faced.
He further stated that he is pleased with the progress of communications in the Territory over the last 50 years and that at one time having a local television station was only a dream, but now there are a few that are in operation.
“Newspapers are in print and online and we currently have four cellular phone providers and that is progress,” he exclaimed.
Chief Administrative Officer of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Mrs. Karia Christopher acknowledged that there are many others who contributed to the telecommunications era in the Territory and also saluted them for their tireless efforts; however the TRC endeavored to choose the ones that started it all.
World Telecommunications Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated every year internationally on May 17. This year, however, the TRC celebrated on July 30 and 31 in conjunction with Lime, Digicel, CCT, Cable TV, DoIT and Telephone Services Management Unit (TSMU). The global theme for WTISD is ‘Broadband for Sustainable Development,’ while the sub theme in the Territory was ‘From Then to Now, Look Where We’ve Come.’
At the time the TRC was established in 2007, and four unitary licenses were issued, which giving BVI Cable TV, CCT, Digicel and Lime equal opportunity in the telecommunications market. Presently the TRC is working on the implementation of Submarine Cable, International Connectivity and Awarding of various spectrums all with the aim of enhancing quality service within the BVI.
This year the TRC celebrated WTISD with two days of activities. On Wednesday, July 30, there was a Grand Open House in the Maria’s by the Sea Hotel parking lot and on Thursday, July 31, the TRC hosted a luncheon.
The TRC strives to enable and facilitate the availability of adequate telecommunications infrastructure and services with a view to ensuring the long term benefit to residents and businesses in the Virgin Islands.
Additionally, this is part of Governments initiative to build a better Virgin Islands; one that is ideal to live, work and do business.