Hon. Marlon Penn
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Eighth District Representative, Hon. Marlon Penn is heading a committee under the Premier's Office to examine Government's move to implement an effective E-Government structure. This was disclosed by Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool during a press conference yesterday, September 28.
According to Minister Vanterpool, the committee's work ties into the formulation of a national information and communication technology policy with the help of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
The Minister said that while he cannot give a timeline for the development of the policy, he believes that the BVI could be on the cutting edge of technology, competing globally.
According to the Minister, in June last year the BVI was among the first countries in the English speaking Caribbean to launch its own Internet Exchange Point.
The Minister also spoke about extending an invitation to a Google official to explore setting up some type of operation in the BVI, which has the potential of becoming "a little Silicon Valley in the Caribbean".
"Despite our size, we are no less eligible and there are no less possibilities that we can be on the cutting edge and leading edge of technology development for the Caribbean and indeed as it is so well connected throughout the world. Therefore, as a Territory, I can boast that we are fortunate that the majority of our residents do not have problems of access to technology. Our aim as the Ministry in support of the TRC is to capitalize on these gains and position the BVI to become a serious competitor in the telecommunications industry and we are already making significant strides in that direction," Minister Vanterpool stated.
Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the CTU told reporters that the regional organization is prepared to give technical and other support to the BVI in the formulation of the policy.
She said that other policies have been adopted by other countries, but the BVI will be unique in that its policy will cater directly to the needs of the BVI and create an environment where every citizen knows that the information communication technology is for them.
Lewis said that the organization will work with Government to maximize the investment in telecommunications and communication technology.