Creating a ‘SMART’ Barbados


As it moves to modernize and bring the framework for local broadcasting in line with the digital reality of the 21st Century, the Barbados Broadcasting Authority (BBA) is considering a wide range of proposals and ideas from stakeholders across the industry.           

The latest submissions were presented to the BBA Chairman Dr Allyson Leacock in the presence of other board members, by the specially convened Think Tank Advisory Group (TTAG), comprising progressive thinkers and experienced practitioners in media, communications and information technology.   

Similar feedback was earlier received from media executives, digital networks, and the Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Incorporated (COSCAP), as part of extensive consultations by the one-year-old BBA Board which has fully embraced government’s vision of a SMART Barbados.

“These proposals will enrich the deliberations of a sub-committee of the BBA Board, which has been tasked with reviewing the existing Broadcasting Act and Regulations and recommending critical updates to reflect technological and other developments which have occurred in global broadcasting since the Act and regulations took effect,” Dr Leacock said.    

She added: “We certainly value this input from our various stakeholders, who so willingly worked with us, freely giving of their time and expertise and readily providing such vital feedback in a spirit of collaboration, which has been a defining characteristic of our working relationship since the inception of this new board.”

TTAG is chaired by Ricardo Blackman, veteran public relations executive and founder of JER Associates. Other members are Chris Cooke-Johnson, director, Creative Junction Inc; Fabian Branch, founder and new media developer with TAPP New Media; Glenda Medford, corporate attorney-at-law and former vice president, Cable & Wireless; Leonardo Kunar, founder of Sunbeach Communications; John R. Simpson, media and IT professional, Telecomms Plus; Ashell Forde, systems analyst, Ministry of Innovation and Smart Technology and Christopher Fields, IP & data network architect, Digicel Group.

The team met over eight weeks in an effort to present its recommendations to the BBA Board on July 18, 2019. Among the wide-ranging recommendations is a document entitled An Examination of the Future of the Broadcasting Industry. TTAG agreed that the current definition of broadcasting in Barbadian law is inadequate considering the convergence between broadcasting and telecommunications.        

Addressing the BBA Board before presenting the report, Mr Blackman drew attention to research findings which indicate that by next year, 2020, one quarter or 25 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be digital. As such, he said, the need “to move swiftly and purposefully to achieve our Prime Minister’s vision for leveraging advanced technology to make Barbados ‘the SMART island of the Caribbean’ over the next five to ten years” was critical.

Barbados Broadcasting Authority

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Creating a ‘SMART’ Barbados  Barbados Today As it moves to modernize and bring the framework for local broadcasting in line with the digital reality of the 21st Century, the Barbados Broadcasting Authority …