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Senator Frederick stumped as to what LTE stands for

Senator Frederick stumped as to what LTE stands for


It could have been because of nerves, or simply as a result of being insufficiently prepared, but Opposition Senator Vynnette Frederick found herself in an embarrassing position during last Tuesday’s sitting of Parliament.{{more}}

During the questions for oral answer segment, Frederick posed a four-part question to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in his capacity as Minister of Technology.

“The USF initiative to provide wireless online connectivity to schools and other locations around the state is indeed important. Given the popularly held view that LTE technology is capable of facilitating island wide wireless connectivity, will the Minister of Technology indicate…,” began Frederick’s question.

But before he answered, Gonsalves asked Frederick to explain what LTE meant.

“Well, I am giving you an even better explanation than what it means. It’s the proliferation of technology by wireless means throughout any given country. That’s the name of the technology. It’s called LTE,” said the Senator, who is the shadow minister of Technology for the opposition New Democratic Party.

“You are asking me about LTE, explain to the House what LTE means,” Gonsalves retorted.

However, the senator said that she was doing what the prime minister had asked.

“I was doing that not by saying what LTE stands for which is not an explanation…,” she said.

“But it stands for something,” Gonsalves responded.

“What exactly it stands for escapes me at the moment,” she said.

She further admitted that she did not have the document which explained the concept of LTE technology.

“You are the minister. I defer to you,” she said.

“LTE has a specific meaning, just like CITE,” Gonsalves said.

This prompted the Hendrick Alexander, Speaker of the House, to interject.

“If the question is not intelligible then…” Alexander said.

But Frederick argued that it was intelligible, particularly to the minister to whom the question was directed.

“It is intelligible to the minister, to whom it was directed, and I defer to him the meaning of LTE,” she said.

“So the question is being determined as not intelligible to the minister?” she continued.

The Prime Minister asked the Speaker if he was familiar with the term, to which Alexander responded he was not.

“If the Honourable Member is asking a question and she does not know what it means…” Gonsalves responded.

“Mr Speaker, let me help her. LTE means Long Term Evolution, that’s what it means. There is no rigmarole in this you know?” the prime minister said.

According to Alexander, questions asked in the House must be to the understanding of all those present and for the general public.

“It is for education and information of every member of this House, and the fact that we are going out to the further public, too,” Alexander said. (DD)