August 20, 2010
ECTEL recognizes liberators of the telecom industry

Seven persons including a former and a current Prime Minister were last week recognized for their contributions to telecommunications in the region.{{more}}

On Wednesday, August 11, the East Caribbean Telecommunications Agency (ECTEL) awarded the men, whom they consider pioneers in the liberalization of the regional telecommunications industry, as the regional body celebrated its tenth anniversary.

The milestone was observed with a number of activities, including a cocktail reception at Government House, where the men were recognized.

Special awards were presented to Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who was lauded for his government’s work in promulgating the requisite legislation to establish ECTEL and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NRTC), and his political leadership and guidance in the battle against communications provider Cable & Wireless (now LIME).

Also being awarded was former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, who according to his citation provided the support required to secure the resources for the establishment of the OECS Telecommunications Reform Project and displayed his commitment to the new authority when his government signed the treaty establishing the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ECTEL).

The other awardees included current Minister of Telecommunications Dr. Jerrol Thompson, the longest serving telecommunications minister and former chairman of the ECTEL Council of Ministers; current Chairman of the Board of ECTEL Isaac Solomon; Randolph Cato, a former representative on the ECTEL Council of Ministers as well as ECTEL Board of Directors; Apollo Knights, the former Telecommunications Officer and current coordinator of the local NTRC; and former Project Manager of the Telecommunications Reform Project Donnie DeFreitas, who was also the first Managing Director of ECTEL.

The men, who were presented with their awards by Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, were thanked for their support, dedication and passion towards the telecommunications sector, which is considered one of the most vibrant in the region.

Honourable mention was also given to close to 30 persons for their contribution to the liberalization of the sector over the years.

The featured address was delivered by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, with a special address by Dr. Thompson. (JJ)