TelEm Group reflects on ICT contributions

POSTED: 05/17/11 12:08 PM

St. Maarten – TelEm Group is recognizing the observance of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) today together with telecommunication companies all over the world. As part of the reflection the company wants to remind the community of its role in providing telecommunication services in line with this year’s telecommunication day theme of a “Better Life in Rural Communities with ICTs.”
“While we do not have the rural communities with the kind of needs experienced in other parts of the world, we can still recognize that there are many sections of our local community where we, as the incumbent telecommunication provider can make and have made an important difference,” TelEm Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Helma Etnel said Monday.
Most recently TelEm Group has focused its ICT resources by providing telecommunication support to education on the island.
“We have provided free high-speed internet to all the public schools so that our students can stand on their own with students from anywhere else in the world. We are presently upgrading higher education technology at the University of St. Martin and we have revolutionized access to residential and commercial bandwidth speeds for the island ensuring that our local community remains part of the global technology village,” Etnel said.
Other initiatives in the past include providing computers to schools, setting up telecommunication links to the local medical center for telemedicine services; supporting internet services to the public library and establishing distance learning broadcast links between the University of St. Maarten (USM) and a university classroom in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.
The company has taken its mission a step further by sponsoring The Milton Peters College’s participation in the Math A-lympiad. They won for the second time in a row. The company also sponsored the annual Science Fair which promotes technological innovation by the youth.
Because of all these efforts the TelEm Group executive is confident that the company is already delivering on much of the aims of this year’s theme by constantly taking its local community into consideration when embracing new technologies.
“The Sint Maarten Telephone Company N.V., several years ago published its government-sponsored “Wired Community” report in which the company set out to bridge the digital divide that existed at the time by putting policies in place to ensure new telecommunication and internet technologies were affordable and accessible to all sectors of the community. We continue in that vein to this day,” Etnel said.
She added, “We have developed an undersea cable system that was the first of its kind in this part of the Caribbean to provide the type of bandwidth required as an engine to drive the new technologies that are coming out today, Most of what we do today in the area of data transmission on the mobile and wireless networks could not be done without this kind of innovation on the part of TelEm Group. Over the years TelEm Group has developed digital telephony, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOiP) technologies, fiber to the curb for customers and other services that makes our contribution to the ICT infrastructure world class.”
She said while World Telecommunication and Information Society Day generally reflects on professionals involved in telecommunication, the company enjoys turning the attention elsewhere – as is the case with the annual customer appreciation event.
“On behalf of TelEm Group and its personnel I take advantage of World Telecommunication an Information Society Day to extend a sincere word of gratitude and warmth to all our customers and friends for continuing to make TelEm Group their preferred carrier and the carrier for Country St. Maarten. We do falter at times, but the public can rest assured and be proud of the developments and achievements of their own home-grown telecommunication company, owned and operated by their own,” said Mrs. Etnel.
The Telem Group will mark today’s celebration with a token treat of snacks and refreshments to customers and friends visiting the company.

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