Tag Archives: Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

How will regional regulators respond to CWC’s acquisition of Columbus?

Can telecommunications regulators from across the Caribbean see beyond their national interests and present a unified regional response to a common challenge? The recent announcement by Cable and Wireless (CWC) of its proposed US$3 billion acquisition of Columbus International could prompt them to try.

If approved, the deal will make CWC the Caribbean’s largest wholesale and retail broadband service provider. But the acquisition requires regulatory approval in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados. Continue reading How will regional regulators respond to CWC’s acquisition of Columbus?

Suriname hosts CTU regional technology development meetings

Delegates take a photo call at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union's 28th executive council meeting at Hotel Krasnapolsky, Paramaribo, Suriname. Back Row: Selby Wilson, CTU; Trevor Prevatt, CTU; Clifford Bostic,Barbados; Christopher Herbert, St. Kitts and Nevis; Eric Nurse, Grenada; Albert Daniels, ICANN; Rodney Taylor, CTU. Front Row: Philip Dalsou, St. Lucia (Ag. Chairman, CTU); Hon. Falisie Josef Pinas, Minister of Transport, Communications and Tourism, Suriname; Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General, CTU; Thelma Douglas-Pinas, Permanent Secretary, Suriname; Thea Smith, Suriname; Cleveland Thomas, ITU. Photo courtesy: Ministry of Transport, Communications and Tourism, Suriname.
Delegates take a photo call at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s 28th executive council meeting at Hotel Krasnapolsky, Paramaribo, Suriname. Back Row: Selby Wilson, CTU; Trevor Prevatt, CTU; Clifford Bostic,Barbados; Christopher Herbert, St. Kitts and Nevis; Eric Nurse, Grenada; Albert Daniels, ICANN; Rodney Taylor, CTU. Front Row: Philip Dalsou, St. Lucia (Ag. Chairman, CTU); Hon. Falisie Josef Pinas, Minister of Transport, Communications and Tourism, Suriname; Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General, CTU; Thelma Douglas-Pinas, Permanent Secretary, Suriname; Thea Smith, Suriname; Cleveland Thomas, ITU. Photo courtesy: Ministry of Transport, Communications and Tourism, Suriname.

Caribbean leaders will meet in Suriname this week to push forward the region’s technology development agenda. The South American country will host an executive meeting of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) on April 8th and 9th at the Hotel Krasnapolsky, Paramaribo.

The CTU’s executive council is made up of permanent secretaries from ministries with responsibility for telecommunications in the CTU member states. The council has oversight responsibility for the work of the CTU secretariat.

At the meeting, Bernadette Lewis, secretary general of the CTU, will present to the executive council chairman her report on the performance of the organisation and the progress of its recent and ongoing projects.

 

Cleveland Thomas, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) area representative for the Caribbean, and Albert Daniels, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) global stakeholder engagement manager for the Caribbean, are also expected to make presentations at the high-level meeting.

 

The CTU was established by the heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 1989 in Nassau, The Bahamas. The latest executive council comes on the heels of the 25th intersessional meeting of the conference of CARICOM heads of government, a top-level meeting which underscored the significant role of regional leadership in designing and implementing the Caribbean’s technology development agenda.

 

One highlight of the executive council meeting will be a video presentation by leadership development expert, Dr. Farid Youssef of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. Dr Youssef will identify drivers for effective leadership in the Caribbean context.

Managing Caribbean Spectrum

The two-day event is sandwiched in a weeklong series of regional technology development meetings hosted by the government of Suriname, through its Ministry of Transport, Communications and Tourism, under the leadership of Minister Falisie Josef Pinas.

On April 7, Pinas delivered welcome remarks at the inaugural meeting of the Spectrum Management Steering Committee (SMSC), a multi-country team of senior government policy makers and industry regulators.

The inaugural SMSC meeting comes as the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) is rolling out its Harmonised Caribbean Spectrum Planning and Management project across its fourteen member countries. The project, which was formally launched in Montego Bay, Jamaica in December 2013, is being undertaken with technical support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Compete Caribbean. It aims to harmonise practices and procedures for spectrum management across the countries.

The Spectrum Management Task Force (SMTF), a multi-country, multi-stakeholder technical committee of government, regulatory, private sector, academic and civil society personnel, held its first workshop in February. Conducted in collaboration with the ITU and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the inaugural SMTF workshop focused on emergency telecommunications.

On April 7, the SMSC started building on the work of the SMTF. The SMSC is aiming to develop a regional frequency allocation table, which is intended to facilitate the adoption of common frequencies for disaster management and emergency telecommunications.

On the last two conference days, April 10th and 11th, the CTU will conduct a pair of workshops designed to highlight adaptive technologies available to deaf and blind people. Presentations will focus on ways in which people with visual and auditory impairments can use the Internet to make the most of opportunities for education, training and employment. Some sessions will highlight specific devices that can help people overcome the loss of sight and hearing, using popular platforms such as Apple’s iOs and Google’s Android.

 

Driving development through innovation: CTU brings regional technology entrepreneurship seminar to Grenada

GRANDE ANSE, Grenada – A regional workshop recently held in Grenada encouraged local entrepreneurs to leverage cutting-edge technology to develop world-class products and services which address challenges facing Caribbean society.

The workshop, held at the Grenada Grand Beach Resort, Grande Anse on March 24th and 25th, was part of a broader World Bank-funded initiative called CARCIP, the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program, coordinated by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).

“The underlying philosophy of the CTU’s ongoing regional workshop series is that the very same conditions that present severe challenges for Grenada and other Caribbean islands, are also creating unique opportunities for the region,” said Junior Mc Intyre, CARCIP Project Coordinator for the CTU, delivering welcome remarks at the opening ceremony.

The job of Caribbean innovators, Mc Intyre said, is to look past the challenges and discern the opportunities. Lead facilitator for the CTU CARCIP workshop, Bevil Wooding, underscored that reality.

“The survival of the region’s economies depends on our ability leverage modern technology to produce, compete and excel in the global environment,” said Wooding, who is an Internet Strategist with U.S.-based non-profit, Packet Clearing House.

Gregory Bowen, Minister for Communications, Works, Physical Development, Public Utilities, ICT and Community Development, described the workshop as an opportunity to deepen the Government’s ongoing thrust to develop the country’s ICT sector, in order to improve quality of life and create jobs in the local economy.

“Ultimately, the investment being made by the Government of Grenada is not just in the upgrade of the physical equipment but in the improvement of the quality of the lives of our citizens. Our goal is to ensure that all of our people in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique benefit from the development of ICT infrastructure,” Bowen said.

In March, a historic ICT Bridge connecting Grenada’s sister isles Carriacou and Petite Martinique to the global Internet, was formally launched at the Resource Centre in Hillsborough.

Jacinta Joseph, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, echoed Bowen’s emphasis on the dynamic link between infrastructure development to human development.

“Through CARCIP, we are aiming to advance the development of an ICT-enabled services industry in the Caribbean region by increasing access to regional broadband networks,” Joseph said.

Grenada is not alone in recognising the significance of ICT to national and regional development. At the 25th intersessional meeting of the conference of heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on March 10-11, Caribbean governments reaffirmed that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays a crucial role in advancing all regional development initiatives. CARICOM plans to focus over the next two years on developing a Single ICT Space as the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

“The creation of a Single ICT Space within our community should be pursued vigorously in our efforts to bring technology to the people,” said CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

Addressing the inter-sessional meeting, Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, who holds responsibility for ICT in CARICOM, issued a call for the region to work together to develop appropriate regional ICT development strategies and programmes.

The work of implementing ICT development policy objectives falls largely on CTU, which plays a significant role in coordinating the region’s response to technology-related challenges through various public education activities, targeting ministers with responsibility for telecommunications, Internet Service Providers, regulators and policy-makers in the ICT sector, as well as end-users and consumers of technology.

Through extensive regional public education activities, such as its Caribbean ICT Roadshow, Caribbean Internet Governance Forum, and Strategic Ministerial Seminar series, the CTU has established a track record of creating awareness across various sectors of Caribbean society of the importance of ICT and Internet Governance to the region.

Against that backdrop, the World Bank approached the CTU to regionally coordinate CARCIP, working closely with the governments of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Grenada, and alongside regional organisations such as the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) and the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN).

Launched in June 2013 at the Crown Ballroom of the Grenada Grand Beach Resort, CARCIP aims to improve the efficiency of regional telecommunications infrastructure development in the Eastern Caribbean and ultimately, throughout the wider Caribbean. Through the World Bank’s International Development Association, the project was allocated a total disbursement of US$25 million, including loans to the three countries and a grant to the CTU.

The Grenada workshop is the third in the CTU’s ongoing series. The two-day event brings together local professionals in the field of telecommunications and regional experts in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), entrepreneurship, leadership development and innovation.

Among the workshop presenters are Dr Farid Youssef, an expert in neuroscience based in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine; Norman Gibson, an expert in rural development and environmental management in the Caribbean region; Eric Nurse, ICT Director for the Government of Grenada; Glenda Joseph-Dennis, an independent Business Development Consultant specialising in leadership and organisational development; and Joseph I. Gill, the software developer and entrepreneur behind mobile technology startup TopItUp.TV.

The first CTU CARCIP Innovation Workshop was held at the Bay Gardens Resort, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia on February 10 and 11, while the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines event was held at the Buccament Bay resort on February 26 and 27.

Governing the Regional Internet: CTU brings international Internet Governance school to the Caribbean

The Caribbean faces a number of complex, deep-rooted and interrelated challenges. Human resource development, economic growth, sustainable development and climate change all featured prominently on the agenda for the recently held 25th intersessional meeting of the conference of heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

A recurring theme in the quest to find solutions to these challenges is the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Its prominence on the agenda was far from accidental. CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque described ICT as “the new frontier for regional integration”.

“The creation of a Single ICT Space within our community should be pursued vigorously in our efforts to bring technology to the people,” said LaRocque.

The regional body plans to focus over the next two years on developing a Single ICT Space as the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

But history has proven that it will take more that speeches and press releases to bring this to pass. It has been almost a quarter-century between Caricom’s 25th intersessional and its tenth meeting of Heads of Government in 1989, when the notion of a common telecommunications space was first introduced.

Bevil Wooding, an international technology expert and one of the leading ICT voices in the Caribbean, believes the time is right, but rhetoric must be matched by investment in actual doing.

“The intention (to create a single space), though noble, is long overdue. Twenty-five years later, that dream is yet to be fully realised. If the timespan is an indication of the pace with which current declaration will be pursued by the regional body, then a catalyst must be found,” Wooding said.

“The survival of the region’s economies depends on its ability leverage modern technology to produce, compete and excel in the global environment,” he added.

The work of implementing ICT development policy objectives falls largely on the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), which plays a significant role in coordinating the region’s response to technology-related challenges. In fact, the CTU was also established 25 years ago–the same year that the World Wide Web was invented.

“The work of advancing the technology development agenda of the Caribbean region cannot be done in isolation, nor can it be done by public sector agencies alone,” cautioned Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the CTU.

“The implementation of the Caribbean ICT development strategy is the collective responsibility of Governments, the private sector, civil society and other organisations. The work must take place in concert with the major decisions being made on the international stage.  The Caribbean must participate at this level because decisions are being made regarding the evolution of the global Internet which have serious implications for our ability to effectively leverage ICTs for development,” Lewis said.

Through extensive regional public education activities, such as its Caribbean ICT Roadshow, Caribbean Internet Governance Forum, and Strategic Ministerial Seminar series, the CTU has already established a track record of creating awareness across various sectors of Caribbean society of the importance of Internet Governance to the region.

“Making Caribbean leaders more aware of their role evolving Internet governance in the region and at a global level is a major priority,” Lewis said.

SSIG comes to Trinidad

The CTU’s new memorandum of understanding with the ICT Training Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean (CCAT-LAT) lends even more strength to that cause. The new MOU clears the ways for the CTU to introduce a five-day intensive training programme to the Caribbean that aims to improve the quality of regional representation at international gatherings.

 

The South School on Internet Governance, or SSIG, is a programme to prepare Caribbean and Latin American participants to actively participate in international meetings that determine the future of the Internet. The aim is to increase the level and quality of representation of Latin American and Caribbean countries at regional and international Internet Governance fora.

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Government, through the Ministry of Science and Technology, will be hosting the sixth edition of the SSIG. The event will take place in Hilton Hotel, Port-of-Spain, from April 28th to May 2nd. It will be the first time in its history that the SSIG will be held in the Caribbean.

 

“The CTU fully supports of the convening of the South School on Internet Governance in the region, as that venue gives Caribbean stakeholders greater access to benefit from the programme,” Lewis said.

 

With more than half of the registered participants from the region, the programme prepare participants to engage in the formulation of national, regional and international Internet policy, addressing with a special focus on Caribbean issues. Participants will hear from local, regional and international experts in a range of technology-related areas.

 

“The Internet is a global resource, and governing it requires a multi-stakeholder approach. That’s why SSIG participants are given an understanding of the global Internet ecosystem and its evolution,” said Dr Olga Cavalli, Director of the SSIG.

 

Cavalli, a Lecturer in Networking, Telecommunications and Informatics at the University of Buenos Aires, is Argentina Representative for ICANN and a member of Advisory Committee to the United Nations Secretary General for the global Internet Governance Forum.

 

Director of Institutional Relations at SSIG is Adrian Carballo, a former coordinator of the ICT Financing Group in the Strategy for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean (e-LAC), coordinated by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) of the United Nations.

 

“The principal objective is to create a new kind of leader, one who is better equipped to represent the needs of the region,” Carballo said.

 

SSIG 2014 participants, drawn from the public and private sectors, civil society as well as academia, will have the opportunity to network with members of organisations such as the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which help to shape the future of the Internet.

 

Since its inauguration in 2009 in Argentina, the location of the SSIG has been rotated annually to Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Bogota and Panama City. Emily Fitzpatrick, Business Development and Research Officer at CTU, completed SSIG 2012 in Bogotá, Colombia. Initiatives like the SSIG can play an important role in fostering healthy dialogue about Internet Governance in the Caribbean, she said.

 

“SSIG is a diverse and safe forum where people with varying levels of expertise, knowledge and capacity can have meaningful dialogue. The real beauty of SSIG is the ability to sit in small groups with colleagues converse and reflect on the flow of information coming from the presenters. The cross-pollination that takes place in that forum is healthy and needed in the region.”

 

Selected SSIG sessions will be livestreamed online and open to remote participation in Spanish and English. Full course details are available on the official SSIG website, www.gobernanzainternet.org and on the CTU’s official website, www.ctu.int.

Columbus’ Cache Machine: Supporting the Caribbean Internet economy

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao – Failing to convert brilliant business ideas to real returns is costing online entrepreneurs big time. That’s why in the Caribbean, stakeholders are starting to pay closer attention to external factors impacting their bottom line.

One such factor is the underdevelopment of critical Internet infrastructure in the region. Across the Caribbean, local Internet service providers (ISPs) are paying overseas carriers to exchange local Internet traffic between their local networks. This is an unnecessarily costly and inefficient way of handling in-country exchange of Internet traffic. And naturally, that expense and inconvenience are borne by the end-user.

But there is a better way, according to Kurleigh Prescod, Vice President of Network and ICT Services for the southern Caribbean at Columbus Communications, a major player in the regional telecommunications landscape.

Speaking at the 9th Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF) held at the Curacao World Trade Centre on September 11, Prescod acknowledged that the region was heavily dependent on foreign infrastructure for Internet access, especially U.S. infrastructure. But he shared valuable insights on how Columbus was responding to the regional challenge.

Citing the example of Grenada, Prescod identified the island’s Internet Exchange Point (IXP) as a key component of the critical infrastructure that allowed Columbus to work with other ISPs to exchange local Internet traffic between their networks without cost. Through the IXP, Internet traffic originating in Grenada now terminates on other local networks without having to go through lengthy, expensive, international routes, he said.

In Curacao, Columbus joined that island’s IXP (AMS-IX Caribbean), and is now working to support the Exchange’s caching operations.

“There are two sides to caching,” Prescod explained. “One is the caching box, which provides the content to the users. But you also have to get that content. So we are actually engaged in Curacao to provide that foreign content for those providers, cache it, and then serve it to the users.

“So not only are we a member of the AMS-IX, but we also serve the global Internet to all of the caching boxes in Curacao today. In the interest of supporting the development of the broadband economy here in Curacao, we thought it was important we do so.”

Prescod is also one of the board members of a third Caribbean Internet Exchange recently incorporated as a non-profit company in Trinidad and Tobago. And he is hopeful that the southernmost Caribbean island will be next in line to successfully establish a fully functional Exchange.

“At this time, we’ve only gotten consensus around seven Internet Service Providers that there should be an Exchange,” he said. “We’ve sort of decided on a technical model and we’re looking over the two to six months to implement that model.”

Prescod was speaking as part of a multinational, multi-stakeholder panel discussion in the morning session of the CIGF. Alongside him were Nico Scheper (Netherlands), Craig Nesty (Dominica) and Bevil Wooding (Trinidad and Tobago). Their discussion emphasised the essential link between the performance of critical Internet infrastructure and the stimulation of the Internet economy in the region.

“Establishing a local IXP can bring many benefits to Caribbean citizens, including faster domestic Internet traffic exchange and a more resilient local network,” said Wooding in a post-event interview.

He added, “IXPs are a critical component of the local Internet economy, but they’re not the only component.”

As a whole, the Caribbean region is served by only six IXPs. Apart from Curacao, they are in the British Virgin Islands, Haiti, Grenada, St Maarten and Dominica.

Stakeholders from the Caribbean and Latin America gathered in Curacao to engage discuss and develop policies and structures for regional Internet governance. The CIGF, which was organised by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union at the request of the CARICOM Secretariat, emphasises a multi-stakeholder approach to the development of regional Internet Governance policy, drawing on the expertise and experiences of policy makers, regulators, service providers, content providers, consumer groups, academia, professionals, end users and other Internet interest groups in the region.

Columbus’ Cache Machine: Supporting the Regional Internet Economy

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao – Failing to convert brilliant business ideas to real returns is costing online entrepreneurs big time. That’s why in the Caribbean, stakeholders are starting to pay closer attention to external factors impacting their bottom line.

One such factor is the underdevelopment of critical Internet infrastructure in the region. Across the Caribbean, local Internet service providers (ISPs) are paying overseas carriers to exchange local Internet traffic between their local networks. This is an unnecessarily costly and inefficient way of handling in-country exchange of Internet traffic. And naturally, that expense and inconvenience are borne by the end-user.

But there is a better way, according to Kurleigh Prescod, Vice President of Network and ICT Services for the southern Caribbean at Columbus Communications, a major player in the regional telecommunications landscape.

Speaking at the 9th Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF) held at the Curacao World Trade Centre on September 11, Prescod acknowledged that the region was heavily dependent on foreign infrastructure for Internet access, especially U.S. infrastructure. But he shared valuable insights on how Columbus was responding to the regional challenge.

Citing the example of Grenada, Prescod identified the island’s Internet Exchange Point (IXP) as a key component of the critical infrastructure that allowed Columbus to work with other ISPs to exchange local Internet traffic between their networks without cost. Through the IXP, Internet traffic originating in Grenada now terminates on other local networks without having to go through lengthy, expensive, international routes, he said.

In Curacao, Columbus joined that island’s IXP (AMS-IX Caribbean), and is now working to support the Exchange’s caching operations.

“There are two sides to caching,” Prescod explained. “One is the caching box, which provides the content to the users. But you also have to get that content. So we are actually engaged in Curacao to provide that foreign content for those providers, cache it, and then serve it to the users.

“So not only are we a member of the AMS-IX, but we also serve the global Internet to all of the caching boxes in Curacao today. In the interest of supporting the development of the broadband economy here in Curacao, we thought it was important we do so.”

Prescod is also one of the vice presidents of a third Caribbean Internet Exchange recently incorporated as a non-profit company in Trinidad and Tobago. And he is hopeful that the southernmost Caribbean island will be next in line to successfully establish a fully functional Exchange.

“At this time, we’ve only gotten consensus around seven Internet Service Providers that there should be an Exchange,” he said. “We’ve sort of decided on a technical model and we’re looking over the two to six months to implement that model.”

Prescod was speaking as part of a multinational, multi-stakeholder panel discussion in the morning session of the CIGF. Alongside him were Nico Scheper (Netherlands), Craig Nesty (Dominica) and Bevil Wooding (Trinidad and Tobago). Their discussion emphasised the essential link between the performance of critical Internet infrastructure and the stimulation of the Internet economy in the region.

“Establishing a local IXP can bring many benefits to Caribbean citizens, including faster domestic Internet traffic exchange and a more resilient local network,” said Wooding in a post-event interview.

He added, “IXPs are a critical component of the local Internet economy, but they’re not the only component.”

As a whole, the Caribbean region is served by only six IXPs. Apart from Curacao, they are in the British Virgin Islands, Haiti, Grenada, St Maarten and Dominica.

Stakeholders from the Caribbean and Latin America gathered in Curacao to engage discuss and develop policies and structures for regional Internet governance. The CIGF, which was organised by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union at the request of the CARICOM Secretariat, emphasises a multi-stakeholder approach to the development of regional Internet Governance policy, drawing on the expertise and experiences of policy makers, regulators, service providers, content providers, consumer groups, academia, professionals, end users and other Internet interest groups in the region.

Caribbean Stakeholders Discuss Tech Innovation, Internet Governance

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao. – Commercial space travel could come to Curacao as early as 2014.

Curacao Airport Holding Managing Director Maurice Adriaens announced the projected launch date for the ambitious project, during his presentation at the Caribbean ICT Roadshow, which took place at the Curacao World Trade Centre from September 9 to 10.

The island of Curacao is tipped to host SXC’s second launchpad, the first being located in an Air and Space Port in the Mojave desert, USA.  Spaceflight participants will be launched from the Curacao spaceport into suborbital space above the surface of the Earth and then safely looped back to Earth, according to an online promotional video on the Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) official website.

Addressing a multi-stakeholder audience on the second day of the Roadshow, Adriaens’ presentation highlighted the downstream economic benefits that would flow from the development of an indigenous commercial human spaceflight industry. The prospect of transitioning the island’s economy from traditional tourism to space tourism generated great interest in the room and amongst the foreigners represented at the regional gathering.

“It’s a good dream, isn’t it?” he asked. “So…who wants to be a Curanaut?”

Adriaens was among a number of local and international presenters from a range of backgrounds demonstrated the potential of ICT to impact e-Health, e-Learning, e-Commerce, cyber security, telecommunication, and youth. The spaceflight presentation was part of the CTU’s emphasis on technological innovation as an engine for Caribbean development.

Organised by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Caribbean ICT Roadshow is now into its third year, having visited 17 countries across the region. According to CTU Secretary General Bernadette Lewis, the programme is “designed to foster a spirit of innovation in the adoption of ICT-based practical solutions to development challenges”.

The third day of the event was dedicated to the 9th Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF), which brought stakeholders from Latin America and the Caribbean together to engage discuss and develop policies and structures for regional Internet governance. The CIGF is organised by the CTU at the request of the CARICOM Secretariat.

“Because of the Internet’s phenomenal and rapid growth, a coordinated approach to regional Internet Governance has become a fundamental priority,” Lewis said in her introductory remarks.

“We must take an active part in shaping its growth and development to ensure that our rights are respected and our security assured even as the Internet grows. We must do our part to ensure that the citizens of the Caribbean have affordable access to the Internet and are able to use it safely to solve real-world problems.”

The CIGF facilitates the CTU’s multi-stakeholder approach to the development of regional IG policy, drawing on the expertise and experiences of policy makers, regulators, service providers, content providers, consumer groups, academia, professionals, end users and other Internet interest groups in the region.

The diversity of the range of interests gathered under the CIGF umbrella was evident. In one panel discussion on the Internet Economy, Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist with U.S.-based non-profit Packet Clearing House, led a panel discussion with Nico Scheper, Business Develoment Manager for the Amsterdam Internet Exchange in the Caribbean (AMS-IX Caribbean), Craig Nesty, Executive Director of Dominica’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, and Kurleigh Prescod, Columbus Communications’ Vice President of Network Services for the southern Caribbean.

“Many Caribbean Internet stakeholders are unaware of the work of the organisations that administrate the Internet and its resources. The CIGF highlights opportunities for Caribbean stakeholders to contribute collaboratively to the environment in which important decisions are made about critical Internet infrastructure,” Wooding said.

Both the Roadshow and the CIGF were coordinated by the Curaçao Bureau of Telecommunications and Post, and sponsored in part by regional telecommunications company, Columbus International.