Donnie DeFreitas was instrumental in the establishment of ECTEL
It was with a deep sadness and profound sense of loss that we at the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) learned of the sudden demise of Mr. Donnie Fitzgerald Fedelis De Freitas.
During the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector in the ECTEL Member States of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines which began in the late 1990s, Donnie (as he preferred to be called), in his pioneering role as Project Manager of the World Bank OECS Telecommunications Reform Project, was instrumental in the establishment of the unique regional multi-island regulatory authority – ECTEL.
Donnie was a tremendous asset in those early days of liberalisation, as he participated in the negotiations between the governments and Cable & Wireless, which eventually resulted in the end of the existing monopoly of telecommunications services, and the groundbreaking issuance of licences to new telecommunications providers.
During the transition of the OECS Telecommunications Reform Project to ECTEL, Donnie served, from 2000 – 2003, as the Interim Managing Director, and Secretary to the Council of Ministers of ECTEL. Some of his responsibilities included efficient management of ECTEL’s resources, and ensuring the implementation of directives from the Council of Ministers and Board of Directors. Donnie supervised the formulation and submission of policy recommendations to Board and Council, prepared annual operating budgets and work plans for ECTEL. He also provided services in the capacity of Consultant – Director of Technical Services from 2004 to 2009.
A proud national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Donnie did not restrict his role to that of the general management of ECTEL or the limitations of spectrum management and other technical services. He was an avid researcher on the impact of advancing information and telecommunications technologies (ICTs) in our small developing countries, and shared his knowledge and findings through the presentation of many research papers on global trends. These papers were initially presented to pique his colleagues’ interest in learning more about the future of the communications sector and ICTs in general, but were often used to inform future policy-making and planning for ECTEL alnd the ECTEL Member States.
Donnie was a great team player, always willing to offer advice and his expertise to all members of staff at ECTEL, as well as to the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions in the five ECTEL Member States, and other regulatory agencies. He was well travelled and well known throughout the Region and beyond, because of his dedication to the further advancement of the telecoms sector, and also because of his sense of humour and easy going nature. His colleagues and friends and associates will remember him as very affable and outgoing, always ready for a good party. He will be missed!
Deepest condolences are extended to Donnie’s wife, his family and friends, and colleagues, on behalf of the Council of Ministers, Board of Directors, Management and Staff of ECTEL and the NTRCs. May his soul rest in Eternal peace.