Port of Spain, August 1, 2019 – Trinidad – C&W Communications (C&W) demonstrated an impressive array of global and regional ICT expertise at the 35th Annual CANTO Conference in Trinidad. The C&W team, supported by senior executives from its parent company, Liberty Latin America (LLA), hosted the first day of the conference, which kicked off with a Ministerial Breakfast on Monday, July 22nd.
The event opened to a standing-room only audience at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, where Jenson Sylvester, Country Manager for Flow Barbados and B2B Lead for the Southern Caribbean delivered the opening remarks on behalf of C&W, as the platinum sponsor for the CANTO 2019 conference. He spoke of the need for collaboration among stakeholders in order to make the Digital Region a reality.
Throughout the three-day event, it was made clear that a multi-sectoral approach is needed to connect the unconnected – and this was a permeating theme that served as a clarion call made by all speakers at the conference.
CANTO’s Feature Presentation showcased Miranda Curtis, Board Director, Liberty Latin America, in a Fireside Chat moderated by David Cox, CANTO Chairman and Head of Regulatory Affairs, Caribbean, C&W. Ms. Curtis made it clear that ‘Liberty is without doubt one of the most sophisticated centres and clearing houses in the industry for the exchange of technological, operating and regulatory best practice and expertise’. She also shared insights on her multi-cultural experience, which was a key factor throughout her successful professional career. Chairman Cox noted that her presence at the event demonstrated the importance placed on CANTO at the highest levels of the LLA organization.
LLA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, John Winter, speaking on a panel moderated by Michael Coakley, LLA’s Vice President-Head of Communications, focused on the inevitability of market consolidation in the age of convergence pressed home the point that with the rapid change taking place in the digital space, we need regulators who are focused primarily on understanding the needs of the sector. “We need independent regulators who are apolitical and open markets that allow for market driven competition”,he said.
Vivek Khemka, LLA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology/Product Officer, delivered an information packed keynote address at the Ministerial Breakfast titled ‘Moments that Matter’. He was accompanied by Jenson Sylvester, Country Manager, Flow Barbados and B2B Lead for the Southern Cluster, C&W, who delivered a stirring and complementary presentation. This Session was expertly chaired by Wendy McDonald, Senior Director, External Communications and Stakeholder Relations.
Flow Country Manager-Trinidad, Kurleigh Prescod, spoke on the subject of “Dealing with Disruption” as part of a CTO panel, stating, “Disruption is mandatory. We have to engage our employees and make sure they understand that what we have done in the past is no longer enough – it was good work at the time, but the customers’ needs are changing and we are transforming to meet those needs.”
C&W Communications also sponsored a Ministerial Roundtable discussion, moderated by Euan Fannell, C&W’s Vice President, Corporate Affairs, which got consensus among the participants of the need for more government services to be made available online in order to best serve citizens. Both Honourable Minister Robert Le Hunte of Trinidad and Tobago and Honourable Minister James Thompson of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas engaged in spirited conversations on what they are doing in their respective countries to drive the adoption of Digital Technology.
In the final session on Day 1 of the Conference – Bridging the Digital Divide – What Partnerships and Strategies Are Required to Enable Connectivity in the Caribbean and Latin America? – Garfield (Garry) Sinclair, Vice President Northern Cluster, C&W and CEO, BTC Bahamas said “We need partnerships with regulators and government and we also have to get our universities involved in the eco-system. We need to work together to innovate ways that we can deliver services to subscale markets in order to bridge this digital divide.”
This year, C&W Communications again participated in the Women’s Forum, which focused on women in ICT and how they can empower themselves and others. Ruchi Kaushal, General Counsel for C&W, gave insightful remarks in her opening address and later as part of a panel discussion focused on initiatives that are helping to create environments that foster gender equality in the workplace and help to ‘break barriers’ to the advancement of women in ICT.
Throughout the sessions the three key messages of CANTO 2019 were highlighted as: 1) a need for a wide range of stakeholders to come together to make our digital future a success by being technologically inclusive; 2) a need to bring more diverse voices to the table, inclusive of women and people with disabilities; 3) a need to embrace a much more holistic approach to transforming the region and breaking down silos.