Telecom Authority of Trinidad & Tobago CEO expects revenues >$30 million US a year from equitable spectrum licensing of 700Mhz band to 3 providers for 4G/LTE services

TATT CEO, Dr. John Prince speaking on CNC3 Money Matters, March 9 2017

On CNC3 Money Matters, Anthony Wilson interviewed the CEO of the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT), Dr. John Prince.

Here’s a summary of what was said by the TATT CEO:

  • Prior to his becoming CEO in December 2016, there was arrangement of having a third new provider and Digicel having access to the 700Mhz Spectrum, which is very important for 4G/LTE services.
  • However, Dr. John Prince holds strong views and now the TATT Board holds the same view, that if we have three providers, we can’t give access to the 700Mhz Spectrum to two providers only, and leave “the only company out that belongs to the people of Trinidad and Tobago” (TSTT)
  • There are 45MHz available in the 700Mhz band, and the best and fairest means to make sure equanimity in the telecommunications environment is to give
    each provider 15Mhz each so that all three providers can do 4G/LTE on an equitable basis.
  • In response to a question from the host Anthony Wilson about how TSTT is rolling out 4G/LTE, Dr John Prince said that TSTT is rolling it out in the spectrum they have (850Mhz and 1900Mhz), but the lower spectrum (the 700Mhz band) is better, less cell sites are needed for coverage due to the longer attenuation from the 700Mhz band compared to the shorter attenuation from the higher bands.
  •  Would TSTT have a first mover advantage? No, not really due to the coverage issue.
  • How soon would you make an award of spectrum? TSTT has some activities (probably TV) in the 700Mhz band – as soon as we get that migration plan, and the expertise coming in here, we can begin to award spectrum in the 700Mhz band to providers.
  • Is the regulator selling the spectrum? We rent or license the spectrum for a certain period of time, because “the spectrum is owned by the people of Trinidad and Tobago, like oil…we can’t give you..we have to make sure that we earn revenue to go into the coffers of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.”
  • How much revenue from licensing spectrum? $30 million US a year
  • Has Digicel communicated with you in terms of how many persons it intends to lay off in Trinidad and Tobago? Prince said John Delves, Digicel CEO of Trinidad and Tobago, did want to meet with him before he went to Barcelona, but that didn’t happen. He hoped that John will still be willing to meet with him because “the word “retrenchment” is not an economic savvy word”. He wants to ask John Delves “Is Digicel making money in Trinidad and Tobago? Now if you are making money in Trinidad and Tobago, what is the purpose..the use of retrenchment? Who is it benefiting? You are here…Digicel came here and they got everything…we made the playing field level…Anthony, you were there up and down with us when we were looking at interconnection and all these sort of things. We did…this Authority bent backwards to help Digicel become a player in this market and I think it would be an injustice to the telecommunications authority of Trinidad and Tobago for Digicel to retrench 25…15%..10% whatever people without having proper dialogue with the telecommunications authority of Trinidad and Tobago

You can watch the 8 minute interview with TATT’s CEO on CNC3’s website.


Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society lime on Wednesday February 22 2017 from 7 to 9pm ; please RSVP!

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS ; will be having a lime on Wednesday February 22 2017 from 7pm to 9pm at Wendy’s Cafe located upstairs at Wendy’s Restaurant at the corner of Ana Street & Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, Port of Spain.

Come join as we eat and chat about various ICT topics including:

Anyone interested in computing and ICT are welcome to attend, however please RSVP to [email protected] as space is limited.

Please note that for this meeting, you will be able to purchase food directly from Wendy’s at your own expense. The minimum contribution to TTCS for this meeting is $20.

Internet Society publishes report on Unleashing the Internet in the Caribbean: Removing Barriers to Connectivity & Stimulating Better Access


The Internet Society has published a study titled “Unleashing the Internet in the Caribbean: Removing Barriers to Connectivity and Stimulating Better Access in the Region” which identifies solutions that promote continued development of the Internet in the Caribbean, specifically with respect to infrastructure and access services, and provides recommendations to help address the region’s unique challenges.

The 71 Page Report can be directly downloaded at (PDF ; 6.3MB).

The launch of the report was done by the Internet Society Barbados Chapter which can be viewed at

An excerpt from the Executive Summary :

…With some exceptions, such as Haiti and the Bahamas, the coverage of Internet infrastructure is relatively good, but there is still room for improvement. There are a number of challenges, however, that constrain most countries in the region from becoming digital societies.

  • Caribbean governments have been largely responsive rather than proactive in nurturing the development of the Internet to meet their countries’ needs. As a result, the policy environment required to enable the development and use of Internet infrastructure—particularly legal frameworks that promote affordable services via properly managed competition—are underdeveloped in most countries and still oriented toward the promotion of basic voice communications.
  • Government support structures, such as investment incentives to improve coverage, are limited. The development of relevant content, services and applications (particularly e-government) would drive demand.
  • Even if Internet access costs were to drop significantly, low-income populations might still find Internet services and access equipment unaffordable or of limited value relative to their income levels.
  • Although some countries report relatively high numbers of Internet subscribers among their populations, these numbers do not necessarily correspond to proficient or extensive use of the medium to harness its development potential.

We recommend the following to address these challenges:

  • Develop clear and forward-looking policy and regulatory frameworks that focus on developing the Internet and information and communications technology (ICT) both in individual countries and across the region as a whole.
  • Encourage greater private-sector participation and innovation by improving the enabling environment and the support ecosystem in general, paying particular attention to fostering increased competition in the Internet access market and promoting open access to shared facilities, such as telecentres and innovation hubs (iHubs).
  • Implement initiatives that foster greater participation by the public, including initiatives that improve digital literacy and increase the availability of free access to public institutions.
  • Ensure that the ICT projects implemented are properly aligned with the country’s needs and development priorities.
  • Adopt a regional approach and system of collaboration on common problems and goals, taking advantage of the benefits that emerge—especially with regard to implementation costs—due to the economies scale and scope that can be realised.


Amended Cybercrime Bill to be laid in Trinidad and Tobago Parliament this week to tackle spread of false information on social media

According to newspaper reports, the Honourable Faris Al-Rawi, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago said an amended Cybercrime Bill will be laid in the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament on Thursday February 16 2017 to take into account the spread of false information and/or “horrible imagery” on social media.

According to the Trinidad Guardian article on Wednesday February 15 2017, the Attorney General said :

“Absolutely. There is the Cybercrime Bill which the LRC (Legislative Review Committee) has completed and which is going to Cabinet this Thursday.”

Al-Rawi said the reason why the Government choose the bill as a priority was to control the “Roman Colosseum phenomenon…the thirst for blood, scandal and imagery” now taking place online.

“Our society runs the risk of being deemed to be very much, in lost measure…out of control. The irresponsibility that is exercised without any regard for the consequence of families…or to children or persons who are victims or to just create panic and fear.”

Al-Rawi’s plan comes in the wake of complaints by acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, that such posts, in the face of a spiralling murder rate, was creating a logistical headache for the police, who often have to go out to check the veracity of such postings.

Yesterday, the AG described some of the things put on social media as “astounding. So we focused on the Cybercrime Bill and we have made some very important changes in terms of the previous version that was in circulation. I think the country is going to be very pleased with the product.

So far, Al-Rawi said there had been extensive consultations with the Media Association of T&T, Publishers Association, T&T Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) and other entities on the matter.

“We are ready to rock and roll. This is a step in the right direction to control this kind of behaviour.”

Questioned by the media on how the bill will affect the content of social media and what sanctions will be imposed on those irresponsible users, Al-Rawi opted not to divulge any information, saying he preferred Cabinet to first give its approval.

“Then I would go into all of the particulars. Suffice to say, it is a very robust piece of law on which there has been a significant amount of consultation and I believe it is in the right zone of operations. I don’t want to dilute what was said here today.”

The Trinidad Express article on Wednesday February 15 2017 also carried the Attorney General’s comments on the amended Cybercrime Bill :

Al-Rawi said Trinidad and Tobago runs the risk of being deemed a society that is out of control.

“The irresponsibility that is exercised without any regard for the consequence to families or to children or to persons who are victims or just panic and fear, it is really astounding,” he said.

He added the legislation is a step in the right direction to controlling this kind of online behaviour and the public would be “very pleased”.

The Cybercrime Bill was introduced in Parliament in 2014 and again in 2015. Both Bills lapsed with the end of the Parliamentary sessions in 2014 and 2015.

See The Cybercrime Bill 2014 and Cybercrime Bill 2015 on the ICT-related Laws and Policies in Trinidad and Tobago section.



Password Tips for Kids (and Adults)

Kids are online all the time and many of the sites they use require accounts with passwords. For  2017, here are some tips for kids to help them keep their passwords safe. These apply to adults as well!

Don’t use anything that others can guess about you like your name or your birthday. The best passwords are ones that are hard to figure out.

Mix it up. Good passwords use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. You can even substitute symbols for letters like using $ instead of an S.

Use a different password for each site. This way, if someone guesses your password on one site, they won’t have access to information on all of the sites you use.

Don’t let anyone know your password (except your parents). Your parents are the only ones who should know your passwords. Don’t tell anyone else, even your friends.

Always log out. When you are using a computer or other device that your share with others, you should always log out after you are done.

Don’t write your password down and leave it in a place where others can see it. A password should be easy to remember but hard to guess. If you have to write your password down, make sure to keep it in a safe place where only you can get it.