T&T “very active” in global Internet debate, says ISOC boss

Sebastián Bellagamba, ISOC regional bureau director for Latin America and The Caribbean
Sebastián Bellagamba, ISOC regional bureau director for Latin America and The Caribbean

T&T has come in for praise from the international community supporting the global Internet.

Raul Echeberría, vice president of global engagement at the Internet Society, described T&T as “very active” in high-level international debates on issues related to the governance of the global Internet. Continue reading T&T “very active” in global Internet debate, says ISOC boss

TTIX key to internet economy growth

Left to right, Ronald Mohammed, IPTV technologies manager, TSTT, Rehanna Jaleel, legal and regulatory manager, and Kurleigh Prescod, vice president network services, Columbus Communications, at the Internet Society's INET TT Forum, hosted by the Telecommunications Authority, Barataria, October 8 and 9, 2014, PHOTO: GERARD BEST
Left to right, Ronald Mohammed, IPTV technologies manager, TSTT, Rehanna Jaleel, legal and regulatory manager, and Kurleigh Prescod, vice president network services, Columbus Communications, at the Internet Society’s INET TT Forum, hosted by the Telecommunications Authority, Barataria, October 8 and 9, 2014, PHOTO: GERARD BEST

The recent establishment of an Internet exchange point (IXP) in T&T is a necessary step in strengthening the country’s local Internet economy. But it is not enough, says Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist with Packet Clearing House (PCH).

“The launch of the local internet exchange point, TTIX, is definitely a positive step for internet users and in the development of the Trinidad and Tobago internet economy. However, the launch of an IX is not enough to guarantee its success,” Wooding said, speaking with the T&T Guardian after taking part in a panel discussion on IXPs as part of the Internet Society’s (ISOC) INET TT Forum, hosted by the Telecommunications Authority (TATT) on October 8 and 9. Continue reading TTIX key to internet economy growth

T&T launches internet exchange point

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 4.34.49 PMT&T has become the latest Caribbean nation to launch an Internet exchange point (IXP).

Called TTIX, the local IXP brings together seven of the country’s Internet service providers (ISPs). Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), Digicel, Massy Communications, Open Telecom, Greendot, Lisa Communications and Flow have signed on to the local exchange point. Continue reading T&T launches internet exchange point

Why data infrastructure upgrades are the next step in Caribbean evolution

Junior Mc Intyre, head of Caribbean Telecommunications Union's Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program coordination unit, addresses regional tech experts during CaribNOG 8, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, October 1. PHOTO: GERARD BEST
Junior Mc Intyre, head of Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program coordination unit, addresses regional tech experts during CaribNOG 8, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, October 1. PHOTO: GERARD BEST

Many Caribbean livelihoods are made and lost around seasonal fluctuations in foreigners’ travel. For much of the region, tourism, an all-too-inefficient form of intraregional human traffic, is economic lifeblood. But for one group of Caribbean islands, a different kind of traffic is generating a new model for intraregional economic partnership.

 Internet traffic—data packets that move across telecommunications networks—is opening new economic possibilities to countries with a historical dependence on tourism. The governments of Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines are now working together to update their on-island Internet infrastructure, as part of a wider project to upgrade the data networks across the region. Continue reading Why data infrastructure upgrades are the next step in Caribbean evolution

Securing Caribbean networks

Shernon Osepa, the Curacao-born manager of regional affairs for the Internet Society (ISOC) Latin America and the Caribbean speaks with media at CaribNOG 8, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, September 30. PHOTO: GERARD BEST
Shernon Osepa, the Curacao-born manager of regional affairs for the Internet Society (ISOC) Latin America and the Caribbean speaks with media at CaribNOG 8, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, September 30. PHOTO: GERARD BEST

Cybersecurity was top of the agenda as over 80 technology professionals from 15 countries gathered in Curacao for the second day of a major regional technology conference.
The meeting is the eighth regional gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG).

Because technology plays such an important role in the region’s development, cybersecurity is a major concern, said Shernon Osepa, the Curacao-born manager of regional affairs for the Internet Society (ISOC) Latin America and the Caribbean.

“A lot of commercial banks in the region are being attacked, but they simply don’t report when these attacks are done. So we know that they are happening but we don’t know to what extent,” Osepa said.

“These attacks are being masterminded by people who are highly educated, technically competent and very knowledgeable about Caribbean security vulnerabilities. This is their full-time job. And it is a global industry.”

Osepa, alongside Albert Daniels, manager of stakeholder engagement for the Caribbean at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), delivered the day’s first presentations, which focused on the need to secure critical Caribbean Internet infrastructure.

“2013 was the year of the mega-breach,” Daniels said, explaining that the number of security breaches reported internationally hit a high last year, a trend that has continued in 2014.

Daniels said the region’s businesses, governments and citizens needed to better understand the real-world repercussions of unsafe practices in the digital realm.

One important aspect of education, he said, was to develop the practice of reporting confirmed or suspected cases of computer hacking, identity theft and other kinds of Internet-based criminal activity.

“If you live in the Caribbean, don’t think that the hackers are not trying to use our systems to perpetuate their crime. Even in the countries where there are few reports, that simply means that attacks are going unreported.”

Without reporting, decision-makers are unable to make informed decisions to properly address cybersecurity issues, said Elgeline Martis, head of the Caribbean Cyber Emergency Response Team.

“We in the Caribbean are not collecting data, so we cannot support our decision makers in taking the right cyber security measures. We need to start collecting our own data,” she said.

“For example, if we collect data and we see that spam is a big issue, then we are able to tell decision-makers they should invest in solving problems with spam. You always need updated facts and figures to support informed decision-making.”

Experts join heads on Caribbean cybersecurity

The best way to improve the security of a computer network is to break into it.

That’s the advice from cybersecurity expert Fernando Gont of SI6 Networks said, to the regional gathering at the eighth Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) in Curacao. Continue reading Experts join heads on Caribbean cybersecurity

Partnering for greater good at CaribNOG 8-LACNIC Caribbean 6

Dozens of technology professionals from across Latin America and the Caribbean are gathered in Curacao for one of the most highly anticipated gatherings of the region’s technology community.

The opening day of the event attracted over 50 attendees.  And more are expected to participate in Day Two, which is dedicated to covering issues related to cyber security in the region.

The week will cover a range of other technology topics including Internet exchange points, cloud computing, mobile broadband and other critical Internet infrastructure.

But many participants are expecting the coffee breaks to be as transactional as the formal sessions, if not more so.

“People who are doing actual work on the networks in our region come here to collaborate and solve real-world problems together,” Lee said. “Caribnog 8, in particular, has several very important side meetings planned, out of which we are anticipating some quite significant outcomes.”

Junior Mc Intyre, Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) project coordinator for the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP), is among those looking forward to the networking that the week offers. For Mc Intyre, the big attraction of this high-profile event was not the sessions but simply the prospect of networking with like-minded technology professionals from across the region.

“We have been working in silos for far too long. A lot of good work is going on right here in the Caribbean but we lack opportunities to share insights with each other,” he said.

CARCIP project coordinators from three OECS countries—Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines—are also participating in the event.

The weeklong event, which runs from September 29 to October 3, is being held at the Hilton Curacao, Willemstad.

The meeting covers a range of technology topics including cyber security, Internet exchange points, cloud computing, mobile broadband and other critical Internet infrastructure.

More information is available on the official event websites: lacnic.net/web/eventos/caribbean6 and caribnog.org.

news and views on Caribbean development