Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 19th 2015 Contents A22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 19, 2015
BRIDGETOWN---Officials from the
Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
and the European Investment Bank
(EIB), signed a letter of intent formal-
ising their intention to work together
in the future to address pressing issues
relating to climate change, renewable
energy and energy efficiency.
The signing took place at CDB s
offices in Barbados, and was part of a
two-day visit to the island by officials
of the EIB, including its vice president,
Pim Van Ballekom.
Speaking at the signing, Dr Warren
Smith, President of CDB, said: "The
Letter speaks to strengthening support
for the sustainable economic develop-
ment of our region and, more specif-
ically, to supporting climate adaptation
and mitigation initiatives in Caribbean
countries. It, therefore, represents
another phase in the strengthening of
a long standing partnership and a deep-
ening of cooperation between our two
institutions that has produced four loan
operations, to date."
He noted that the letter of intent for-
malises a relationship between the insti-
tutions which began in 2011 when EIB
agreed to provide a US$65.3 million
Climate Action line of credit to CDB
to be used to finance public or private
sector climate action projects, including
energy efficiency; renewable energy;
transportation; low-carbon technologies,
development and innovation; and adap-
Total commitments to date from that
line of credit amount to US$35 million,
or 54 per cent of the facility, with the
funds being used for highway recon-
struction; water supply redevelopment;
dam rehabilitation and a solar PV plant.
It is anticipated that the funds will be
fully committed by March 2016.
Van Ballekom said the EIB and CDB
teams have been co-operating closely
to enable investment in projects that
reduce carbon emissions and strengthen
infrastructure from climatic uncertain-
"Countries here in the Caribbean
face serious economic and social chal-
lenges that must be addressed alongside
building resilience to climate change.
Both CBD and the EIB are mainstream-
ing climate action to ensure that infra-
structure is built, or rebuilt, to higher
standards," he said.
The EIB team also visited the island s
top tourist attraction, Harrison s Cave,
later in the day. Harrison s Cave ben-
efited from financing from CDB in 2006
for the redevelopment of the facilities,
utilizing resources provided by the EIB.
The upgrade of the facility included
improved parking, new restaurant facil-
ities, as well as a souvenir shop.
CDB, EIB to work together
on climate change
CASTRIES---The Eastern Caribbean Telecom-
munications Authority (ECTEL) has warned Dig-
icel against proceeding with plans to implement
technology to block Internet ads on customers
mobile phones, saying it would not only be hin-
dering the growth, usage and deployment of
broadband but also breaching its licence.
This follows a September 30, announcement
by Digicel and brought to ECTEL s attention by
the National Telecommunications Authority
(NTRC), in which the company said it would
become the first mobile operator to implement
ad control technology to block Internet ads on
customers mobile phones, particularly from big
companies like Facebook, Yahoo and Google, unless
they get some of the ad revenue.
Digicel, which accused the tech giants of taking
advantage of its network and keeping the money
for themselves, said it would introduce the new
policy in Jamaica before rolling it out in its other
Caribbean markets in the coming months.
However, in a statement, ECTEL said while it
wants to improve the experience of customers
using the Internet and increasing penetration for
broadband services in its member states---Domini-
ca, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St
Vincent and the Grenadines---"it strongly opposes
the method being proposed by Digicel to achieve
"ECTEL remains committed to promoting the
up-take of broadband in its Member States and
is of the view that the implementation of this
technology by Digicel will hinder the growth, usage
and deployment of broadband," it said.
ECTEL added that in correspondence sent to
Digicel s managers in all five member states, it
reiterated its position on Net Neutrality, which
states that service providers should treat all data
on the Internet the same, not intercepting, inter-
rupting, blocking, degrading, discriminating or
charging differentially, by user, content, site, plat-
form, application, type of attached equipment,
mode of communication or source or destination
"Interception of any communication without
the consent of the receiving party breaches the
Telecommunications Act and amounts to a breach
of the operator s licence," the regulator warned.
"ECTEL is therefore advising Digicel to adhere
to the stated principles of Net Neutrality and to
refrain from deploying its ad control technology
within ECTEL member states."
Digicel warned against blocking ads
Dr Warren Smith
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