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TATT to bring free wifi to public places

MIRANDA LA ROSE Tuesday, April 25 2017

THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) is currently working with Government to bring free wifi access to public places starting with the roll out of hotspots at 45 locations.

Chairman of TATT board Gilbert Peterson SC, told yesterday’s opening of the three-day “Internet of things forum: Smarter living in the Caribbean” held at the Parliament Building, Port-of-Spain that the 45 wifi hotspots will include waiting areas at all public hospitals.

The roll out will also include waiting areas at major transportation hubs, water taxi and water ferry docking areas, and all public libraries.

This is in keeping with TATT’s objective, Peterson said, to ensure that the country keeps pace with global technological changes and to facilitate the implementation of a number of services on which Internet of Things (IOT) can be established to allow everyone to benefit from digital technologies.

The Internet Society online website says the IOT “generally refers to scenarios where network connectivity and computing capability extends to objects, sensors and everyday items not normally considered computers, allowing these devices to generate, exchange and consume data with minimal human intervention. There is, however, no single, universal definition.” In 2008, Peterson said TATT started the process for universal service towards 100 percent of the population accessing basic telecommunications and broadcasting services with a consultative draft document.

Since then, apart from TATT’s achievements in having regulations in place and working with Government on the wifi rollout, he said, “in another attempt to connect the unconnected, TATT is moving with speed towards the licensing of White Space Devices (WS D) by September this year.” WS D is defined by techtarget.

com as a Federal Communications Commission-certified wireless device that could be used without an exclusive broadcast license in the RF spectrum below 700 MHz.

“White space devices can access the internet at wireless broadband speeds. The devices use underutilised, unlicensed portions of the spectrum called white space.

Characteristics of signals in those spectrum ranges - such as greater range and penetration of objects - are expected to lead to better and cheaper wireless service.” Peterson said, “We hope WS D technology will help close the digital divide in this country and provide a medium for more persons to benefit from IOTs.” International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Area Representative Cleveland Lewis said, the IOT offers new opportunities and challenges and huge prospects for the global economy and social development, and will bring “profound changes” to the lives of many.

The journey of IOT began more than ten years ago, he said, and the ITU is now actively addressing the technical standards and spectrum requirement of IOT development.

Since 2013, the ITU had done work on “Smart Sustainable Cities, and published last year over 21 technical reports as specifications on the subject. The recommendations of the reports are being taken forward to the ITU-T Study Group 20 on IOTs and applications, including smart cities and communities.

Since the group’s establishment in 2015, Lewis said, the ITU has already approved a number of international standards, including the requirements of network for IOT.

ITU-T Study Group 20 has published two flip books which are freely available on the ITU website.

One contains the first set of ITU recommendations on the IOT and the other explains the key performance indicators for smart cities which, he said, are currently tried by several cities around the worl

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