Telecommunication and Information Society Day Print E-mail
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Written by Shane B. Williams   
Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:00

Karen beavans and Anwar Barrow viewing displays with Primary and secondary school students.On Tuesday, May 17, Belize and countries around the globe celebrated World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies. 17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union. In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day to focus on the importance of ICT and the wide range of issues related to the Information Society. The General Assembly adopted a resolution in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May. In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

Information and communication companies around the world organize activities to celebrate the anniversary of the convention. This year the theme for World Telecommunications and Information Society Day is “Better Life in Rural Communities with ICT’s”. The Belize Telemedia Limited held an Open Day inside the King’s Room of the Princess Hotel. The Guest Speaker at the opening ceremony was Hon. Elvin Penner, Minister of Public Utilities and Information and Broadcasting. He gave a brief history of telecommunications and broadcasting in Belize and spoke about the importance of technology today. He is committed to the goal of bridging the digital divide by making sure all citizens of Belize have access to internet service.

After the ceremony, students were invited inside the King’s Room to view displays presented by staff members from 14 of Telemedia’s departments. Hundreds of primary and secondary school students took advantage of the information shared at the open day. Members of the Board enjoyed the displays as well. Presentations included information on power generation, phone lines, fiber wire, marketing tools, top-ups, directory assistance, billing services, connection and disconnection and many other services in the industry.

It was a festive atmosphere in the King’s Room of the Princess Hotel. Presenters were energized; students were engaged and there were even dancers present to entertain. However, Anjali Vasquez, Public Relations Officer for Telemedia, explained that the central theme of “Better Life in Rural Communities with ICT” is still the company’s number one priority. She spoke about the 3-G network and various additional services that customers now have access to. She said that Telemedia’s coverage continues to spread and communities are enjoying wireless services for the first time. If we are to meet the Millennium Development Goals then this coverage expansion must keep pace. Residents of rural communities are often poorer and less educated than residents of urban communities. Bridging the digital divide will go a long way in combating poverty and providing opportunity for social advancement. Telemedia is committed to doing exactly that.