ECTEL’s Digital Inclusion Strategy Gains Momentum Across 5 Eastern Caribbean Countries

Courtesy Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL)
Castries, Saint Lucia A survey to ascertain information about access to, use and affordability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and broadband products and services in the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority’s (ECTEL’s) five ​ (5) Contracting States is well underway. The initiative is spearheaded by ECTEL and forms part of the World Bank-funded Caribbean Digital Transformation Project. The survey is ongoing in the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while enumerators began the process in St. Kitts and Nevis at the end of March 2024.

According to Ms Cheryl Hector Fontenelle, ECTEL’s Director of Economics and Finance, “The Digital Inclusion Survey will examine the use of ICT and broadband services, the levels of digital literacy and skills, as well as identify barriers to access and use of ICT and digital services.”

The survey, being conducted by Data Point Solutions Inc., aims to target a total of 3,500 ​households and 8,750 individuals in ECTEL’s Contracting States and will be administered via ​ online questionnaires/digital surveys, face-to-face interviews and/or telephone surveys.
​ Field personnel will be in uniform, and possession of identification cards as well as a letter from ECTEL explaining the purpose of the survey.

​According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ‘by mid-2022, an estimated​ 5.4 billion people were online, over 63 per cent of the world’s population. Yet a third of the world’s people (2.6 billion) do not use the Internet. Many of them live in least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and small island developing states ​ (SIDS).’ The findings of the survey will help to increase access to digital services, ​ technologies and skills by governments, businesses and individuals. Additionally, it is​ expected that the results would provide the basis for further targeted interventions to promote more inclusive access to ICT and close the digital divide.

​To this end, the Directorate of ECTEL is encouraging the public to spare a few minutes to ​participate in this critical project which will undoubtedly set us on the path of success as we​ seek to digitally transform the economies of our Contracting States and leave no one
​behind, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.

​ECTEL has been the regional regulatory body advising the National Telecommunications ​Regulatory Commissions (NTRCs) on electronic communications matters in its five (5) ​Contracting States since 4th May 2000. In simple terms, ECTEL works with the NTRCs to ​ promote consumer rights and harmonised benefits in the electronic communications sector
​ in its Contracting States.

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