BIPA AGM 2015 & NEW BIPA Executive Board 2015/2016
On Monday, 20th July at 6PM at the 3Ws Oval, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, St. Michael, BIPA held its Annual General Meeting for 2015.
The main highlights of the AGM included:
– Review of Minutes of the last BIPA AGM held on July 28th, 2014
– Financial Report for 2014/2015
– President’s Report for 2014/2015
– Discussion on the protocol for the elections conducted by the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries – BCSI
– Nomination and balloting for the election of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Officer and the Executive Officers for the term 2015 – 2016.
– Announcement of the election results
– Introduction of the newly elected officers of BIPA for 2015 / 2016
The new executive board is as follows…
President: Mr. Philip Lewis
Vice President: Mr. Franklyn Jackman
Secretary: Ms. Cheldeane Miller
Treasurer: Mr. Roger Callender
Membership Officer: Mr. Larry Mayers
– Mr. Andre Griffith (Immediate Past President)
– Ms. Margaret Leon
– Mr. Cleverston Miller
– Mr. Edwin Workman
Photos from the event can be seen here: BIPA AGM 2015 PHOTOS
BIPA at Sheraton’s Tech Fair 2015
On Saturday, June 20th, 2015, the Barbados ICT Professionals’ Association will be participating in the upcoming Sheraton’s Technology Fair 2015.
This event will take place at Sheraton Mall from 10AM to 6PM.
At this event, BIPA will be giving PC advice, PC security advice, Web presence advice, hardware and software advice along with much more from the TechCorner.
BIPA will also be providing patrons with information about the Association such as what we do and how we achieve it along with information regarding how to join BIPA and the benefits of doing so.
BIPA on Down To Brass Tacks: The Impact of the LIME and FLOW Merger Following FTC Ruling
Topic: The Impact of the LIME and FLOW Merger Following FTC Ruling
Date: Sunday, April 5th, 2015
Time: 11 a.m.
Programme Radio Station: VOB 92.9 FM
On the 27th of March, 2015, The Fair Trading Commission of Barbados completed its analysis of the merger application between Cable and Wireless Communications Plc and Columbus International Inc.
The Commission has considered the overall efficiencies of the merger and the anti-competitive effects which the merger will create in the Fixed-voice (landline) telephony and Fixed data (broadband internet) services and has determined that the merger should be approved subject to a number of conditions.
Tune into Barbados’ most listened call-in radio programme, “Down To Brass Tacks” on VOB 92.9 FM on Sunday, April 5th, 2015 starting at 11 a.m. as Mr. Andre Griffith (President of BIPA) joined by Mr. Julian Jordan (ICT solutions provider) to discuss the impact of the LIME and FLOW merger following the FTC’s ruling as well as various other ICT related topics including how ICT innovation can impact Barbados’ development.
BIPA’s Reponse to FTC inquiry on the Proposed Acquisition of Columbus International by
Cable & Wireless PLC
The Barbados ICT Professionals’ Association (BIPA) has received an invitiation to submit to the FTC’s inquiry on the impact of the proposed merger of CWC PLC and Columbus International. This invitation is in accordance with the FTC’s mandate to investigate any acquisitions that is greater than 40% of the market share under the Fair Competition Act CAP 326C.
Our response can be downloaded at the following link and view our article below that summarizes our findings:
Major regulation needed on merger
The organisation representing Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) professionals in Barbados wants Government to give urgent attention to regulating broadband service should the regulator give the green light for a merger of the regional operations of Cable & Wireless Caribbean and Columbus Communications.
The Barbados ICT Professionals Association (BIPA) has also proposed formally to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) that before it signs off on a merger regulations should be in place that allow competitors access to the landline network operated by LIME, the trading name for CWC in the region. BIPA is also calling for policies to be introduced, known as Net Neutrality, whereby external services such as Skype, allowing for free telephone and video calls over the Internet and over the top (OTT) services like Netflix, whereby movies are viewed online, are not subject to restriction or differential treatment by the service provider.
The recommendations are among a list of eight submitted to the regulatory authority by the ICT body. The Commission has to take a decision on whether or not to approve the acquisition or merger of Columbus Communications in the Caribbean, which trades as Flow, after assessing the degree of market dominance it would allow.
BIPA said the merger, without adequate regulation, would nullify competition in fixed telephone service, broadband and television delivered over the Internet (IPTV). Furthermore, it argued that it could lead to an investment retreat in broadband by Digicel, which it suggested remains the only company currently capable of providing competition.
“At a minimum fixed broadband must be a regulated service, as is fixed voice today, in order to protect the consumer from price gouging and poor service,” the ICT association said.
BIPA called for several policy measures to be implemented before the merger is approved but should they be, offered tacit support for it to go ahead.
These measures included the implementation of Local Number Portability (LNP), whereby a cell phone customer is allowed to change service providers and retain their existing cell number.
BIPA also wanted Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) and Virtual Unbundled Local Access (VULA) introduced as a precursor. This would allow for new fixed-line operators to have access to the CWC/Columbus copper and fibre networks., since “the days when networks were built around applications (i.e. telephony and television) should be over. With technological change, control of the access network should no longer confer control of the customer or service. In short, there should be one network infrastructure with open access to all service providers allowing for service-based competition rather than infrastructure-based competition.”
This telecommunications model which exists in other countries today allows for new entrants into the ICT market. These entrepreneurial ventures create highly-skilled jobs and new business activity, thereby stimulating the economy while ensuring the consumer has a choice of service providers.The Barbados ICT Professionals Association, in its detailed analysis, said the merged company should be required to maintain local staff to manage key technological and operational functions. “This will mitigate against the risk of supernormal profits being expatriated by the merged entity at the same time as extra-regional outsourcing of functions reduces the value to the local economy of the operation,” the ICT body said.
BIPA urged the Commission to insist that Cable & Wireless Caribbean and Columbus Communications disclose their intended efficiencies, “so that the Commission can weigh the benefit of those efficiencies against the adverse competitive and economic effects noted previously”.
(This article was submitted by the Barbados ICT Professionals Association. BIPA is an independent, non-profit organisation and the only national association catering to ICT professionals).
In addition, visit BIPA on FaceBook at fb.com/BarbadosICT and follow BIPA on Twitter at twitter.com/BarbadosICT to share your views and be updated with more ICT news affecting Barbados, our region and our world.
BIPA on TV 8 Mornin’ Barbados “Teching Out” Segment
TOPIC: New BIPA Executive & Internet Exchange Points (IXP or IX)
DATE: August 7th, 2014
- Mr. Andre Griffith – President
- Ms. Margaret Leon – Board Member
- Mr. Andy Parris – Board Member
- A brief on the new BIPA administration elected at our recent July 28th, 2014 AGM.
- The panel will discuss Internet Exchange Points (abbreviated IXP or IX).
- An IXP is an infrastructure which primary purposes are:
- To keep local Internet traffic within the local infrastructure.
- Reduce the costs associated with traffic exchange between Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
- THE PROBLEM: Internet access across much of the Caribbean is heavily and unnecessarily dependent upon foreign infrastructure, especially U.S. infrastructure. In several Caribbean territories, local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are paying overseas carriers to exchange local traffic between their local networks. This is an unnecessarily costly and inefficient way of handling in-country exchange of Internet traffic. This is equivalent to Barbados paying American Airlines to fly passengers from Bridgetown to Speightstown, via Miami!
- The problem is almost like having an international airport but no local transport system e.g. bus, train, taxi between major cities. In addition to the expense of the air travel analogy, the overseas agents benefit economically and can examine all the cargo (our analogy to Internet traffic) that transit through their borders/infrastructure. In summary, there are cost issues, privacy issues and a stunting of local industry development if this situation persists.
- An IXP is an infrastructure which primary purposes are:
BIPA has been appearing almost every Thursday for a 10-minute the Tech Segment since around May 8th, 2014. Andre Griffith has been doing an amazing role coordinating most of the episodes. Many BIPA members, BIPA’s friends and some corporate colleagues provided great expertise for the discussion on the show.
About Mornin’ Barbados
Airs Monday to Friday from 6:00 am to 8:00 am on CBC Channel 8 Barbados.
Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG)
Attend the CaribNOG 8 meeting:
CaribNOG’s 8th Regional Meeting and LACNIC Caribbean 6 at Hilton Curacao, September 29th to October 3rd, 2014, Willemstad, Curacao
IXP content courtesy CaribNOG.