CANTO 2019 Day Two – The Conversation on the Regulation of the Digital Economy

Port of Spain, 23rd July, 2019 , Day 2 of CANTO’s 35th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition deepened the conversation on the Regulation of the Digital Economy. With lively debates on wide-ranging topics including the Challenges and Opportunities in the ICT Ecosystem; Data Protection and Cybersecurity Trends; Disaster Risk Management and the effectiveness of the Regulation of Content in the Digital Age; panellists and participants challenged themselves to “move from talk to working together” before meeting at CANTO next year.

During the Ministerial Round table, The Honorable Melford Nicholas, Minister of State and Information, Antigua & Barbuda; The Honorable Catherine Hughes, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Guyana and the Honorable Paul Lewis, Minister of Communication, Works, Energy and Labor faced tough questioning on their Government’s positions regarding consistent regulation across all communication platforms and taxation of all players – locally-based and “off-site” that now occupy the digital landscape. Collaboration, consensus and the breaking down of silos, coupled with a Regional approach, was again put forward as the needed strategy to surmount the rising tide of digital waves washing our Caribbean shores.

Representatives from the Operators, Regulatory Bodies and Broadcasting Authorities grappled with the dynamics of horizontal taxation in the new digital ecosystem to balancing the need for regulation without stymying independence, creativity, freedom of speech and freedom of access to information. Overarching the discussions was the understanding that critical thinking must become a necessary education for our Caribbean populations to combat the new digital harms such as fake news, cyber bullying and Internet addiction.

What was evident at today’s (Tuesday 23rd July) sessions was that technology was leaping ahead – 4G is moving swiftly to 5G. The World has entered the 4th Industrial Revolution. If the Caribbean and Latin America are to remain to on capitalize digital change and innovation, Governments, Regulators, Operators and Users must actively engage in open and honest discussion on the most effective way forward for the benefit of all our people.

The Conference concludes tomorrow, Wednesday 24th July 2019, with presentations on Leading in the Digital Age, Advanced AI Insights, Regional Development Trends and Perspectives of Future Technological Advancements.