My Kingston - Stephen Price

Managing Director at FLOW

Sunday, November 12, 2017

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What are your earliest memories of Kingston?

Spending weekends and holidays with my paternal grandmother at South Camp Road and attending church on Sundays at the historic Holy Trinity Cathedral where I was an altar server. My siblings and I grew up with that routine which has grounded us all to this day.

What's the most memorable meal that you have enjoyed in Kingston?

I have two all-time favourites, which would be fried fish, lobster and festival from Aunt May's at Hellshire and curried conch from Moby Dick on Orange Street.

What would you do if you were mayor of Kingston for a day?

With Kingston having been designated a UNESCO creative city, my mayoral stint would be dedicated to creating a Celebrate Kingston day, where we would showcase the treasures of our city to the world. In every community we could set up mini creative villages displaying all our entertainment, art and culinary forms: from urban street dances, to modern and contemporary dance performances. From dancehall to classic ska and mento. From the pan chicken man to our best restaurants. From the Bob Marley Museum to Heroes' Park. Using both and other privately owned Kingston websites, it would be an opportunity to push this rich content internationally via live streaming, so that on that day the world can see everything that Kingston has to offer. Through that one day, we would create a treasure chest of content that could continue to market and grow interest in our city until private capital invests in it.

What would be your recommendations to a first-time visitor to Kingston?

Visit Port Royal for its historic sites, Trench Town for its rich musical history and the Bob Marley Museum for the history of this great artiste. Immerse yourself in high school track and field — Boys' & Girls' Champs — and football — FLOW/ISSA Super Cup — to understand the passion and drive of our people and for the sporting heritage of our country.

If content is king, does a telecoms entity possess the tools to secure such a throne?

The concept of separating traditional telecommunication services from content providers is an outdated one. We currently live in a converged world where these services must not only exist, but dynamically interact as our customers want access on their terms. This had led to more strategic partnerships between the traditional cable companies and telecommunications entities as they both need each other to survive in such a world. We have aligned with this direction and so our focus at FLOW remains on delivering compelling propositions, including content, which meet the needs and demands of our customers. Further, we are providing the control and convenience that they demand, including the ability to access content on their mobile devices.

In an impending reality of zettabytes and ever-increasing data volumes, how does the system of connectivity not cannibalise itself?

The International Data Corp (IDC) recently published a report stating that data creation will reach a total of 163 zettabytes by the year 2025. What is certain, at this stage, is that the system of connectivity, ie networks, will not cannibalise themselves. The questions that need to be answered instead will be: What is the value of this increased data volume? Will it be Snapchat videos or WhatsApp conversations that is transient data or something with more longevity that we want to store? As we come to terms with the evolving face of consumer technology needs, telecommunication companies will be driven by the importance of meeting customer needs and exceeding expectations, whether this means increasing data speeds to allow people to consume data in the way they want to, providing more or unlimited data or enabling greater integration of technology in our lives through the Internet of things (IoT).

Is holistic network encryption a pipe dream or is it crucial to the industry's survival?

Neither. Today's society is more reliant on technology, for the fulfilment of personal and professional needs, which makes us vulnerable to cyberthreats. The issue of privacy and the safety of data and infrastructure is critical, but holistic network encryption can mean reduced speeds and user selection for minor tasks, thereby limiting the user experience. As a response, telecommunications companies like ours must create a web of security cutting across multiple layers of networks to completely secure customer segments. Admittedly, encryption will remain critical for business information, certain applications and personal information.

Do non-digital stand-bys (think: pen and paper) diminish or increase in value in a world where technology is now second nature, though constantly under threat?

In 2014, the Guardian newspaper ran a story titled 'Handwriting vs typing: is the pen still mightier than the keyboard?'. The article presented compelling research that computers may dominate our lives, but mastery of penmanship brings us important cognitive benefits. It is clear that pens and paper are used less often, but their value has not diminished. Learning to write is still an important and expressive form of communication that we all want our children to learn.

To maintain a sliver of the short attention span of today's consumer, retailers must be prepared to...

engage customers, listen to their needs and continuously innovate in order to exceed their expectations.

There's something weird in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call?

A family member or close friend. If something weird is happening, I need someone who really knows me well so when I sound the alarm, they won't ignore me or think I'm crazy.




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