May 17th marks the day on which the telecommunications community at large celebrates “World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD)” and commemorates the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 1865.
The ITU is the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is responsible for Information and Communication technologies. They facilitate international connectivity, allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide. The ITU is the oldest among all the 15 specialized agencies of UN.
World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually since 1969 to raise awareness for important Information and Communication Technologies, and the use of the Internet. The theme of this 50th anniversary of WTISD is “bridging the standardization gap.”
Every time a person makes a phone call, access the Internet, listen to the radio, watch TV, send an email, or making use of smartphone applications, they are benefitting from standardization processes of the ITU. Setting standards is a fundamental pillar of ITU, especially with the roll out of 5G networks in the nearby future. The Secretary General of the ITU, Mr. Houlin Zhao, therefore urges all member states and key players in the Telecom industry to support the ITU’s “Bridging the Standardization Gab” program.
The Director of BTP, Mr. Anthony Carty, stated: “Standardization is achieved by setting generally accepted guidelines to ensure that a products or services are fully functioning, and compatible with other products, services and systems, without any restrictions. Millions and millions of persons around the globe are connecting to the internet daily, by making use of wireless devices. They utilize their devices for communication, education, e-commerce, e-health and many other things. This would not be possible without global standardization. We must recognize that our local economy relies on the availability of ICT, and the functioning of electronic devices across the globe, on different platforms and networks is not a luxury but an absolute necessity. In order for Sint Maarten to stay connected with the outside world, we must continue to contribute to the ITU’s mission in setting Global ICT Standards”.
In closing the BTP Director stated: “we will remain committed to work together with the Ministry of TEATT to develop and update policies, implement service standards, and provide guidance to the industry, to ensure that Sint Maarten will also reap the benefits of the Global Digital Economy”.
BTP wishes all the workers in the Telecommunications industry a happy World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2019.