Press Release 



CANTO’s 39th Annual Conference and Trade Show: Pioneering a Sustainable Digital Future for the Caribbean 


Miami – CANTO’s 39th Annual Conference and Trade Show commenced with a resounding call to action by Chairman Mike Antonius, for industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to unite in addressing the digital challenges and opportunities facing the Caribbean region. The event saw a remarkable turnout, highlighting the dedication and commitment of participants to driving the digital revolution in ICTs and telecommunications. 



Key Highlights from the Opening Speech: 


Digital Revolution and Innovation: 


  • The conference underscored the pivotal role of digital technologies in enhancing communication, inspiring innovation, and fostering growth across various industries. 
  • Emphasis was placed on the need for the Caribbean to bridge the digital divide with developed countries, ensuring that all citizens can benefit from advancements in digital technology. 


Challenges in the ICT Space: 


  • The speech highlighted ongoing challenges in the region, particularly the lack of support from major handset providers in offering 5G services. 
  • A call to action was made for industry leaders to continue efforts to engage these providers, emphasizing that “we should leave no one behind.” 


Fair Share and Network Usage: 


  • Recent European court rulings on network usage fees for companies like Meta were discussed, highlighting the importance of equitable contributions from large tech companies to maintain and expand network infrastructure. 
  • The Fair Share committee, chaired by Lisa Agard, was commended for its efforts in advocating for fair contributions from Big Tech. 


Climate Change and Sustainable Practices: 


  • The impact of climate change on the region’s infrastructure was addressed, with a focus on the importance of resilient and sustainable data centers. 
  • The Caribbean Data Center Association was applauded for promoting secure and reliable data solutions, crucial for protecting regional data and investments. 


Towards a Sustainable Digital Economy: 


  • The conference theme emphasized the need for sustainable and ethical digital technologies that contribute positively to the environment, society, and economy. 
  • Calls were made for responsible AI use, digital privacy, and security, alongside the development of smart grids and 5G technology with minimal environmental impact. 


Collaboration and Inclusivity: 


  • The speech reiterated the importance of fostering inclusivity and ensuring that digitalization benefits are accessible to all, creating a more inclusive digital ecosystem. 
  • Emphasis was placed on the collective effort required to achieve digital sustainability, calling for collaboration among policymakers, regulators, industry leaders, and community members. 


Disaster Recovery and Support: 


  • Considering the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Beryl, CANTO’s Disaster Recovery Planning Working Committee was highlighted for its efforts in promoting special pricing for communication services post-disaster. 
  • Deepest condolences were extended to those affected by the hurricane, with a pledge of continued support for recovery and rebuilding efforts. 


Closing Remarks: 


The speech concluded with a call for unity and collaboration, urging all stakeholders to work together towards creating a Gigabyte Society in the Caribbean by 2030. The commitment to overcoming challenges and ensuring that no one is left behind was reaffirmed, with a pledge to restore communication and connectivity swiftly in the wake of disasters. 


The Surinamese Minister of Transportation, Telecommunication and Tourism, Mr Uraiqit Ramsaran, was also in attendance, signifying the commitment of the Surinamese government to work towards the development of a sustainable digital economy and digital inclusivity for all. 





July 8th, 2024