The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Good morning, everyone. It's 9:00. Let's get prepared to start. Those sitting in the audience, bear in mind, this is a roundtable. So I encourage you to join the roundtable, please, if you're staying. Thank you very much. Kind, sir, will you join us at the roundtable? We want to encourage the roundtable format so please join us at the roundtable. The chairs in the back are for those who probably don't want to speak, more observers.
Those coming in, please join us. Thank you. My name is Tracy Hackshaw. Welcome to our Fourth Small Island Developing States Roundtable. We started this in 2011, I believe, and we actually began the roundtable format in 2012. This is our fourth version of it. For those who are not familiar with the roundtable format, we won't do stand‑up‑type presentations. We won't have very long discussion points. The idea is that I'll pose some questions in sort of a talk show‑type format and that would invite people to respond. And I will invite the roundtable to respond to those who responded. So it will be a free‑flowing discussion and I'm hoping that everybody has a chance to speak. Please do. I'm hoping the discussion is very vibrant and just setting the stage, we are discussing the Free Internet. We are not discussing specific issues that may come up on that. We are discussing the Free Internet. However, if you wish to raise other issues, feel free. So thank you very much.
So, I did circulate some questions to our lead discussants. It's actually on the work shop description. So the first question would be really something ‑‑ I'm not going to introductions because I think the way to do this is when someone speaks they can introduce themselves. We'll save time that way. The first question is basically, who pays for the Internet? I'm trying to understand and I'm hoping that maybe someone can answer that.
The Internet is this thing we hear about. It's this Cloud or this thing. There is Internet infrastructure. There is Internet architecture. There is technical stuff. There is all sorts of things. The question is, who actually pays for this? And I'd like to invite our lead discuss opportunities start. Perhaps ‑‑ I did want to ask pepper, who is coming to the Panel, but unfortunately he has fallen ill this morning so he will not be able to make it, or he will try; but not to start. Perhaps I could ask our TCB to give us thoughts on who pays for the Internet.
>> VINT CERF: So the first observation I would make is, there are quite a few different business models that drive parts of the Internet. So, each of the operators of a network may have a very different business model. Some of them are not for profits. Some of them are governments. Some of them are government funded. Some of them are for‑profit Private Sector entities. Some are public companies. It's not the case that everyone who gets access to the Internet necessarily pays for it out‑of‑pocket. Some do. On the other hand, there are business models like the one that Google, where there is an advertising component that picks up the cost of almost all the services that are offered.
So, I think it is very important not to get trapped into thinking that there is only one model for the way in which the costs of recovered. And I think that might be an important part of our discussion, to recognize the variations.
In the Small Island environment, it becomes even more complicated because the island groups of disbursed and in some cases, there are many different islands that are part of the chain and figuring out how to build infrastructure that will allow all of the participants on the various islands to get access to the Internet is a nontrivial question. How much local connectivity can be provided?
Is there inter‑island capabuilt that is possible without necessarily the use of satellite? We had a good demonstration last night of the O3B Satellite System. But it's not inexpensive. The ground station that was demonstrated is for ship board use, which is really impressive when you consider that ships are not necessarily stable. So these are gyro‑stabilized antennas tracking the satellites as they fly overhead. That ground station was delivering 400 megabits a second downstream and 100 megabits a second upstream. But the cost of the ground station is 250,000 dollars.
I asked, what happens if you have a fixed installation? They said it's less expensive because you don't have all the gyro-stabilizing equipment and the data rates get up to a giga bit per second. This is a spot‑beam based system. The reason I won't go into this detail is to say that there are a variety of choices that are available for linking places into the Internet environment. And I'm hoping in this discussion, the people who are most familiar with the island environments can help us understand what those challenges are and what options already are known for interconnection among the island groups and of the groups into the rest of the Internet. Let me stop there and invite further elucidation by the rest of the people in the roundtable.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you Vince. I see we have a colleague. Perhaps introduce yourself when you speak.
>> BOB FRANKS: Bob Franks, Online Forever. I would re‑frame the question. So in the United States, we have Route 1. And what is Route 1? It's just some signs tacked up and these days you don't even need the signs, you just use an App to create your own routes. So who pays for the routes? The answer is, you don't pay for the routes. People pay for the roads and you make a route out of the roads. So if you're the Internet as the way we use the physical infrastructure and the question is then, how do you pay for the common infrastructure you use? And where the transition phase with roads, a century ago when people ‑‑ business paid for toll roads and nobody knew why you needed roads. They were not for profit. And somehow we had creeky intercity harbor system. By the time we had the automobile people understood the value and people just paid for roads as infrastructure. And the real case for the islands is, is there an understanding of the value to the community as a whole for them to just pay for the infrastructure? But it's $250,000 for a bay station, over 100,000 people, for example, it’s not that much. But the real question is, do you have an understanding of the value as a whole to pay for it together?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Very interesting points. Does anybody want to take that up? Carlton Samuels?
>> CARLTON SAMUELS: I'm going to speak specifically about the challenges of Island States and connectivity. We have two challenges. So let's talk about the one off island. Most of the off‑island connectivity is by submarine fiber systems. And in the Caribbean we have a circuit of fiber systems across the Caribbean. The problem is the landing stations, they don't land very often in very many places. Jamaica is a probably one of the better served because we have about five fiber landing stations in‑country. Because of that, it reduced the wholesale cost of the bandwidth tremendously. So that is one. And the other Caribbean Islands that is not the case. It is a continuing for off‑island connectivity and the price is correspondingly higher.
Then there is internal systems. We have or we are coming out of situations where it used to be mostly copper connectivity. And that is going out now and we are putting in fiber systems in‑country. There is still though, most of them by commercial providers. And of course, they go where they expect to retrieve the costs and make some money is we have the divide of ‑‑ a real divide. At the edges, in the small rural communities, there is no connectivity. Or the connect activity is there but it's still old dial/copper and it is very slow. That's part of the problem we have in most of the island countries.
There have been several initiatives to improve the infrastructure and connectivity, in countries, the universal service funds have been part of it. They have been building networks on supporting the building of networks for universal service obligations. Part of the problem is that universal obligations in most countries now evolve only to voice. And therefore the broadband availability and the things you need to do real important work with Internet connectivity, is still lacking. The policy framework needs to respond to that. And that is something that we can do.
So, I think also to connect the edges, those that are not connected now, we have to seriously think about community‑type networks and how we get those involved, and the mix of ‑‑ but Vint is quite right. We are actually trying to replicate a variety of ownership for the infrastructure that works so well in metropolitan countries. That is what we are trying to actually emulate in the aisled countries. We are not there yet. We are still away, but there is some light in the channel. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I see three people wanting to respond and I saw Bob wants to respond afterwards. I don't know if Vint would like to have the floor after that. So let's go with Neils.
>> NEILS TEN OEVER: Hello, I'm Neils ten Oever. We know there is a Free Internet but there is a Free Internet as in freedom and there is also an Internet that is free, as in free beer. But we also know there is no such thing as a free lunch and there is also not such a thing as a free beer in that sense. So, that Free Internet, as in free beer, is a beach of Net Neutrality and nondiscrimination. And doesn't allow for content agnosticism or the end‑to‑end principle as the invent of the Internet originally envisioned it. So it is actually a breach of the architectural principles with which we build the Internet.
So if we want to connect the Small Island states, we should not come with a half Internet because we wouldn't allow that with health care either, right? We would need the full Internet. And of course we would need to think of models of doing that but we do not need to necessarily copy the approaches that we have done in other parts of the world. We need custom‑made solutions and we can innovate because innovation happens at the edges. So why don't we look deeper into things like, opening the spectrum for making less‑mile connections and being able to work on that, which would also allow for a more decentralized network and bringing it from node-to-node; and then really bringing that experience from the islands back to the rest of the world. Because I really think the next jump can be made there.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you, Neils. Rhea.
>> RHEA YAW CHING: Good morning. Covela Foundation. One of the ‑‑ the history of the Internet in the Caribbean or broadband in the Caribbean when it comes to infrastructure is a fairly short one. And a good story because it is an extremely fiber‑rich area now, one of the highest and most dense in the world, actually.
That is actually on the backs of commercial enterprises, consolidation of commercial enterprises, making a commercial decision to invest in Caribbean network connectivity with an expectation of return.
And therefore, to content point, the number of landing and landing sites and the so on, is on the basis of where the mother is. And so it is in a sense a kind of a catch‑22 situation where or chicken and egg, rather, where you need to have a vibrant or most local Digital Economy to be able to ensure you have proper routing systems and redundancy to the country, or commercial enterprise needs to have a foresight to be able to see to be the vibrancy of that economy and invest in it.
And I think one of the things that has challenged us in the region in particular when it comes that, is while commercial interests have started the infrastructure development in the region, that in fact should not be the model terrestrially as we try to derive the economic or and social benefit of the Digital Economy in each country. That needs to be a variety of different kinds of players, sector players. And I don't think that we are quite there yet in terms of being able to consolidate the types of interests into the formulation of new models to experiment in the various countries.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Deidre?
>> DEIDRE WILLIAMS: Good morning, everybody. My name is Deidre Williams and I come from a Small Island developing state, St. Lucia, in the Caribbean. I'd like to revert to Tracy's original question which is, who pays for the Internet? I'm afraid I'm going to disagree with Dr. Cerf because I say that everybody pays. We all pay. We do not necessarily pay in money, but if we do not pay in money, we pay in information. And one of the things that concerns me very much about this IGF is that many of the next billion that we are so busily connecting, do not understand that it is their information, their data,that is being looked for.
I would be happy if there were a way of including those next billion to find out what do they really want? Do they really want to be connected? Has anybody bothered to ask them?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So I know that both Bob and Vint want to respond to the interventions ‑‑
Do you have a quick intervention Dhanaraj?
>> DHANARAJ THAKUR: My name is Dhanaraj Thakur. I'm from the Caribbean and I want to bring up an example outside of the Caribbean from another Small Island Developing State. Since we were talking about connectivity, infrastructure issues and options, there is interest and examples from Principe, where they had recently in 2014, gained access to the ACE cable that runs around West Africa done through a public‑private partnership what is interesting there is that the agreement between the government and ‑‑ was done such that the access to the cable was done in open‑access basis, which sufficiently created and attracted, so a second operator could there enter. What has since happened is there is a significant reduction in wholesale prices and retail prices as well. So, the best practices we are aware of, open access principles and so on, are very readily when we are talking about fiber infrastructure. I thought it was an interesting example from another kind of Small Island of open state.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I'll close off the topic with two responses from Bob and Vince.
>> BOB FRANKS: The challenge I have is, we are not speaking the same language when we use the word the Internet. And that is the real problem here. And I talk about connecting the next trillion devices as physical, and people communicate using devices. And this is why I say, a metaphor is about railroads, water pipes, electricity, and those aren't the appropriate metaphors. Roads and sidewalks are much better metaphor and that is why I was interested in the history of how we learned to pay for those as common infrastructure. The question is not whether it is free or not. The question is, is it paid in a way that gets in a way. Sidewalks are not free. We pay for them as a community but they’re free to use because you don't have to justify each walk at a monetary level. Right now, we can do connected high‑cost telemedicine but we can't connect a simple heart monitor. So, this is the real issue is to get an understanding of the Internet as basic infrastructure aside from the social Internet. And I'm going to get more of a chance to talk about it tomorrow and try to explain it. But until we have the same language, it can be hard to have a conversation.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Vince I'll give you the last on this one. Who really pays for the Internet?
>> VINT CERF: There are some serious misunderstandings going around the table as I listen to this.
The first point is that Internet is in architecture. It isn't a business model. It's an architecture. You can build pieces of the Internet and have those pieces paid for in a variety of different ways. When the Internet was first built, in fact the predecessor to the Internet was built, it was a co‑op. Basically every government agency that had anyone using the ARPANET, paid a fixed fee for the cost of having a packet switch on their premises and that covered the cost of the dedicated, they built it.
There is nothing wrong with a co‑op model and it still works. Other people have a different model. They choose to build the network and risk building it in a place that doesn't have a market that develops. And they do so because they are hoping to make money. But it isn't necessary to make money in order to make the Internet run. It's necessary that its costs be paid for somehow. And as to this claim that people are paying for the Internet with their information, here you and I do disagree.
At least with regard to Google, it is true that the applications that we offer for free are paid for by advertisers who are trying to get people to look at their ads and we charge them for that. But the other infrastructure we build called Google fiber, is a product. And people pay for access through that infrastructure. That's a straight simple straightforward business model. But what I'd like to emphasize more than anything is that you do not need to have all parts of the Internet paid for the same way.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you very much. And I'm not certain if, as Dr. Suess says the issue is understood by everybody, exactly which parts of the Internet are being paid for and come parts do we pay for? Perhaps that is something we need to put on the table for further assessment and exploration, because that, as he indicated, there appears to be some level of disagreement perhaps, or consensus to that issue. That's something I think we may want to see or something we will look at in the future. I'm going to take off from that question now and ask something a little more provocative.
So, there are a lot of these Free Internet initiatives being offered and I'm speaking about the Free Internet in quotation marks here. And these large organizations in the world offering ‑‑ and I don't want to call them the initiatives, but they appear to be inherently philanthropic. At least from many people's position. And it appears to be that they are out to do good and appears to be that they are to simply spread the Internet to people who need access. Now, do these measures or options really provide better to Developing Countries and in particular Small Island states. I want to hear from everybody as to whether or not they think that is important and whether the benefits are there. I see someone hasn't spoken before so perhaps introduce yourself and jump in.
>> Hello. My name is Sharda (sp), I'm a student, Public Policy student from Bangalore. I just wanted to clarify that there are different forms of these offerings and not all of them are philanthropic. In that, there are some business models of the Zero-Rated platforms initiated by serve Telecom service providers in the case of India which a major service provider, Airtel, had an offering Airtel Zero, where they signed deals with content providers to provide access to consumers for free but it was still paid for by content providers.
That is very different from the free basics model that is also considered a Zero-Rating model. I wanted to bring in some conceptual clarity into the different forms of free to consumers Internet, because I do think that there are different business models that are created in this realm.
>> VINT CERF: Imagine some of you have gone to a hotel and discovered in the lobby that you can get access to the Internet and apparently you're not charged for it; although the cost is probably buried somewhere in the cost of the hotel rooms and other services. If you go to a coffee shop, you may get access to the Internet. If you're in other hotels and meeting rooms, they may explicitly charge you for access to the net. There are all these different ways of recovering costs and I don't think we should get trapped in any one of them in our debate. Although we need to understand the implications of the different choices and what fraction of the Internet you get access to in consequence of those various alternatives.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Okay. So the philanthropic issue has come up. Some say it's not all philanthropic. I noticed Bob and Dhanaraj and I see others. Let's start with Bob.
>> BOB FRANKS: I'm not concerned whether it is philanthropic or not. The question for me, is it sustainable and will it grow with usage? So philanthropic model can give people a taste of it, but we have to think about sustainable funding and that is a whole long discussion but that is the test.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Dhanaraj.
>> DHANARAJ THAKUR: The question is about the benefits for Small Island Developing States. And what I would purse that is, I'm not sure we are sure the extent to which these kinds of services are offered in Small Island Developing States. And then following that, what exactly are the kinds of benefits? Are they actually bringing people online who were previously off line? Are they making access more affordable? I mean, honestly I don't think there is enough to very that kind of question specifically to set up countries. The other thing, and I'll throw this in there as well, is that I am sometimes getting worried when we bring in debates or discourse that are really relevant for other regions into our particular area, which ‑‑ so again, I'm not sure how relevant this is for us. I think ‑‑ I'm open to being educated right here and now. But I'm just worried about us bringing in these kind of discussions. So thanks.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Patrick?
>> PATRICK HOSEIN: So, what ‑‑ Patrick Hosein University of West Indies. So we have been discussing this Zero-Rating issue for quite a while now.
How do we provide access to these low‑income users? One way is to have the operators provide some bandwidth for them. Sufficiently it does not affect their pay customers and by having them sample the Internet, they hopefully will then move to paid prescription.
So with the free basics model, the way FACEBOOK does that is by restricting applications themselves so that the through put necessary for the applications is sufficiently small so that these users of this free basic service will not load the network significantly. So that is one approach. But, basically that approach is basically limited user through put indirectly by limiting the applications. So FACEBOOK basically says that the applications that are provided within free basics must conform to certain technical requirements and no video and small images, et cetera. And the whole intent is to reduce the overall through put of these users. So one other approach. That is one approach.
But why not just do it directly? Why not just directly limit the through put of these users and have them access the entire Internet? Now in this way, they will not ‑‑ they will still be able to access the free basics versions of the Apps because they were designed for low throughput. But it also allows anybody to redesign or provide low through put version of the site or application so that anybody ‑‑ any of these low through put users ‑‑ let me just call them LTP users, will be able to access it as well.
So in this way, you allow users open access. The operator uses a small portion of their bandwidth for these free users, and users in fact could f they want to, access more through put intensive applications like video, but of course it would take forever for them to download it. One side effect of this, of course, is the activity factors of these users is sufficiently high to cause increase in average usage of these users. But there are ways to provide caps to reduce this.
The point is that you place the limitations on the users as opposed to limitations on the content. And all of this is technically feasible. LT provides the infrastructure to provide QS. So it also allows you to have limits on throughput through this QS class identifier, et cetera. So in conclusion what I'm trying to say is that, the FACEBOOK approach has the ‑‑ the goal is admirable but the approach itself is flawed and I think we can come up with other approaches that are both network neutral and provides the same goal. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. I wanted to just ‑‑ I know we have somehow drifted into the Zero-Rating. Just to deal with the issue Dhanaraj. That is she in the Caribbean right now as we speak. So that is something we can put aside. But other Free Internet systems, there is TDY spaces. I want to make sure we don't miss the broader topic of the Free Internet. So there are other options that are coming and have already arrived in our parts of the Small Island Developing States that deal with offering Free Internet access. I believe the Philippines has already experienced all the same projects or something of that nature. And so there are things that offer Free Internet as a broad topic as well as the issues that others are raising with Zero-Rating. Let's not lose sight of both sides of the coin there. I want to make sure that we are okay. I'm seeing Ginger and Deidre. Ginger?
>> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you, everyone. I'm here as a outsider.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Could you ‑‑
>> GINGER PAQUE: Ginger Paque from DiploFoundation. I'm in a cross between Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. But I am not an islander. I kind of wish I was. So, my approach, I'm asking my questions from the outside as not an islander and not an expert on Free Internet. So my questions may seem naive but they would help me. One, what is specifically different about Free Internet with the Small Island Developing States? Why is it specifically important to you and all of us then as Internet users?
And second, I'm outside if I know there are very, very many different things that are called Zero-Rating and different things that are called Free Internet. My question might be to Patrick or to the rest of you, is it seems to me that Zero-Rating is one concept that has different models. Free Internet is something very different, which to my mind springs to mind municipal Wi‑Fi. That seems to be Free Internet to me. Whereas another model is free FACEBOOK. Free I don't know. Somebody else. It's not ‑‑ that's not Free Internet. That's free FACEBOOK. I may be mistaken but that is how my mind is categorizing right now so I'd appreciate help.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: So Carlton wants to respond to you but Deidre first.
>> DEIRDRE WILLIAMS: Several speakers earlier said we are not understanding each other. We need to say what we mean when we say free. Are we talking about money or are we talking about openness?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: A good point. Carlton can you assist?
>> CARLTON SAMUELS: Good point Deidre. You heard we had models and we understand that there are several Zero-Rated models. Some of them are intended for take up of applications like the FACEBOOK model. There are others that are intended to have wider access to the old Internet but on a LTE basis to, say the user experience is not the same as if you were paying a full to access. Our problem in the Caribbean is about two things, cConnectivity and access.
Those two are driven by cost. And whatever we can do to reduce the cost of access or reduce the cost to connect in my opinion, is good for all of us.
First, access. The recognition that cost to access is exorbitant have resulted in several strategies to enable access. From the public side, they have provided what is called Public Access Points. Community Access Points. CAPs. And the CAPs are where we put in infrastructure, paid from somebody else, usually in our jurisdiction, by the universal access fund and people, citizens go there and they don't pay to access the Internet. It is a service that is provided by public funds. Here again somebody has to pay because the infrastructure accepts a cost. So that is one.
There are connectivity issues, and those are at the edge. Those that are outside of our towns and our main points, they are challenged to connect to the Internet because of lack of infrastructure to connect. And that is when we have responses like in one area, building community networks. Community networks that are simple, localized, connections using Wi‑Fi technologies with interconnection rights to the backbone. That happens.
Here again, there is a cost to provision the network. And those costs are sometimes commoditized. That is to say, somebody provides the cost to build a network. It could be government. It could be civil organizations, philanthropic pursuits. And we build that. And sometimes, there is then to the citizen, there is a way to say, you can access certain things for free. Other things you might have to pay a small fee for. That happens too.
Now, if you look at those models, there is a Gulf of possibilities about how you fund all of those. And what, in my view, you should never close the opportunity for every single opportunity to fund any of those so that people have access and connectivity. You should never turn them away without looking at them. That is my position on that.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Okay, before we ask anybody else to contribute. Just saying ‑‑ sorry. Is there a remote participation? There is a remote participation intervention. So two things. People who are in the audience, this is a roundtable so feel free to contribute actively as well. Don't just be an audience. You can join in. There is a remote participation question or intervention but I'm seeing Bob and Neils. So let's do the remote intervention and then ‑‑
>> REMOTE PARTICIPANT: (Indiscernible) ‑‑ from Tunisia. As you said, there is two type of access. There is access to the network, which is connectivity so someone has to pay for. It is not free at all. And there is access to the services to the content. And this is another thing. Now today we have a lot of content which is for free. But nothing is for free. Everything is paid for. So, what is the benefit of those services to the Small Islands or to developing areas in general? I think there must be or might be a very good benefit for them but as it is used now, Internet is not giving a lot of interest to those people. Because the most services used are FACEBOOK, et cetera. Things like this. There is no use for the benefit of the grass root. No ‑‑ for example application to help the grass root, to make use of this network to have a better life.
And I think this is more or less a problem of content. If we think about local content and local language, this might be very helpful for those people, for the grass root. And I think that all developing regions, including the islands, should develop their content for their people in their language. That is how they will help. That's how the Internet will be useful. And to let FACEBOOK only ‑‑ it is not useful at all. Not useful for the development. Not useful for education. I don't think it is what is needed. What is needed is to have local application and local languages. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. And I just want to take the remote intervention. Go ahead remote intervention.
>> REMOTE PARTICIPANT: Thank you for the opportunity, Chair. We will give the floor to Maureen from Cook Islands.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Yes, Maureen, go ahead.
>> MAUREEN HILYARD: I'm trying to make it.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: We can hear you, go ahead.
>> MAUREEN HILYARD: Thank you. So, very early good morning to you. I just wanted to sort of like say that, in the Pacific, related to this particular equation, in the Pacific, accessibility and connectivity are very important. But there is a major affordability issue for many of our users. So when a free deal is offered, many would be absolutely up aware of any attached strings so that there is a real need for education and awareness-raising to ensure that users get the access that they need to the Internet, but they are also aware of the costs to them as a user, whatever the costs may be. And they have been raised by people like Deidre and I guess that I can see Vint's point where he is coming from, but in the Cook Islands, for example, there is a real affordability issue.
I think that people are not accessing the Internet as much as they could to actually add value to their lives. I'll stop there.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So, let's do ‑‑ Vint wants to respond. Let's do then Rhea, Bob and Neils and then we'll move on to the other subjects after. And we have another colleague coming from the audience.
>> VINT CERF: I'd like to suggest we get off of this FACEBOOK stuff for a moment. I think our objective ought to be getting people online to get access to all of the Internet's contents, to get local content in local languages and so on. But what I would like to emphasize is that not every group will necessarily look attractive as a business proposition for a commercial carrier to move in and provide facilities and services. And that does not mean therefore those people can't get on the net or kept afford to get on the net. What we do have to do is figure out what the cost are for connectivity to the rest of the Internet and for access to that connectivity.
But there are a variety of ways in which that could be subsidized. So in the U.S., there is an e‑rate, electronic rate, subsidy for schools and for libraries, for example. It is possible that the government or the citizens could decide. We tax ourselves at a rate which is associated with our income, for example, but the state chooses to use some of those tax revenues to provide common access to a facility, the Internet, in this case.
So, I think we should be very open to a variety of different ways in which the costs of access can be covered and they don't necessarily require people to pay specifically for their usage. And certainly in a co‑op model, it tends to be more like everybody pays for the cost and then we use the resulting facility. The USF notion has elements of that.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So, Rhea?
>> RHEA YAW CHING: Thank you. The track record of free connectivity in the region has been, in my view, very much a failure from terms of physical broadband access that is made available for free, and free to use. Only from my own examples of providing free access to schools, community centers, post offices, police stations and you name it; because again, that is just part of the equation. I agree 100% with the sentiments expressed earlier, that this is a three‑part issue. This is accessibility and affordability of both the infrastructure and the connection, as well as devices. And that is the part that is missing.
And then thirdly, which is the translation of the benefit, the application. So therefore, tracking usage of Free Internet access or free access to schools for the last 10 years, has basically demonstrated to me that there has been absolutely no derived benefit. Derived benefit to what? Because the point of this is, development, economic development in Small Island Developing States. So we are talking about the education system. Can students translate the access to the Internet into real education benefits for them? And the only way that can happen is if there is content related or relative or related to them that can translate into that benefit. And that, in many of the countries in the Caribbean -- we are not there yet. Nowhere near. And so, we still adopt a foreign Internet when we do these things, which therefore in my education example, is not applicable and therefore is underutilized or unused for that purpose.
Fast forward all of the initiatives as it relates to trying to promote a local ‑‑ development of local content or our local Internet, and the evolution of ISPs, is an important ‑‑ the important movement in this process. But again, that is just the intermediary.
We need to get to the content and applications and if you look at ‑‑ I don't want to now harp on the FACEBOOK thing but I'm only using FACEBOOK as one example. If FACEBOOK is the Number 1 site globally for photo sharing and storage, then local content for our islands are being housed, not by local applications and deriving a local economic or social benefit. To me, that is a tragedy. And unless we can create alternatives that can be made free for use, so Free Internet for local applications to be made free by these service providers, then the discussion for me will always be a temporary one to facilitate access by users who don't have access to the Internet temporarily; because I will not sanction the continuation of a foreign identity where we are trying to find local applications to promote our own economies.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So, Bob then Neils.
>> BOB FRANKS: First, I'll invite you to community network talk tomorrow so I don't have to explain everything now. But I agree with Vint and the FACEBOOK conversation. I had a brief conversation earlier this week. There is an altruistic FACEBOOK that wants to provide Internet connectivity a part from the application. They benefit from people who might choose to use it but at some point have enough money to help things. So I want to separate out the infrastructure from the other issues. We have to also remember this. The reason I tell the road story is it took a while for people to understand why you need intercity roads and there is a process that I want to enable for that.
I remember conversations I had with people, how to you make executives use computers? This is 1970. 10 years later we had the answer. Make it useful. And at that point, executives were the ones using computers. We didn't care. We took the ‑‑ since we had a 1970 this must be useful, and at some point people started to find it useful. And I think the key thing here is to realize that it is cost benefit. The cost of the Internet now is infinite number of times higher than it would be if we just had access. In other words, the fact that you have phone companies and all of this is a bad model. So I think a lot of the cots we see once you am ties over a community, become lower. So the government is us. The taxes are us. And it's really a matter of starting a process and the reason I wanted to invite community networks to start a process. I'm going to use a example tomorrow of tracking cattle as a use. Look at the social uses. We forget the infrastructure uses and it takes a while for that to be obvious. So I think whatever means we have to ‑‑ in other words, instead of struggling so hard, we want to make it simple things useful. That's why I appreciate the low bandwidth point.
The web started with dial up. All this video is new. Still a lot of value to be had with simple low‑cost connectivity but it's a process.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. Neils. You had an intervention.
>> NEILS TEN OEVER: Thank you very much. I'm aware the economic argument is a very important argument. But it's not the only argument. Return of investment should not be the only argument that we think about. Internet is an integral part of our life. So we do not let companies decide what our complete public space looks like. Our roads to continue the analogy, have sidewalks, baud sidewalks because we want to stimulate people walk. It's healthy. It's nice. We enjoy it and not everyone is in cars. And there is a value statement in that how we design our public space. And Internet feels like a public space but I'm also very aware that it is built on private infrastructure so we need to marry the two somehow. But we can make the demands for what we want our public space to look like. We can say we want sidewalks. We want pedestrians to be there but we also want shops to be filled with cars. We have safety standards for devices. We do not let every device simply on the market.
So we do not necessarily need to be open for every solution, every option, because some options are simply not meeting our standards of freedom of expression, freedom of association.
We can challenge the companies. Let's not pretend that these companies are poor. Right? Taxation again, is not the only option. Don't be afraid. Just challenge them to be more creative and set a bit of a higher standard and think further and make that investment because they will find a return of investment in the end or show some true altruism. And what we want, what I think we should demand is access to the full Internet not a part of it. And that means all the content and a full protocol stack.
>> (Off Mic)
>> VINT CERF: Look, the Internet is not FACEBOOK or Google. It is an infrastructure. If the people want to put new content on the Internet, they are free to do that and they should do that. That's exactly why the Internet isn't useful unless it has content on it that somebody wants to use. We are not in disagreement about wanting everybody to get access to anything they want to first order.
I'm in agreement with you there. But what I keep hearing in this discussion is this conflation of business applications sitting on top of an infrastructure with the infrastructure itself and the cost of that infra structure and I would please ask you to separate those things so that you recognize that the infrastructure itself is completely agnostic to the content. It is agnostic. If we can find a way to get the cost of the infrastructure covered somehow by a model, then you're free to put any content on it that you want that you find useful. And if we can separate those two things, we may actually find some solutions.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: So it's not just content. It's applications?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: So in the interest of cooling this down, I see we have a colleague coming from the audience. Can you help us?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I don't know if I can help. I can raise a few issues. I'm Roger Mathews and I represent COAI, the Mobile Operators of India. You might ask why did we have islands? Some of the largest aggregation of islands affiliated with India and we have tremendous issues there. I just wanted to highlight a few issues and ask perhaps for some deliberation on this.
For one thing, is that I'm very glad that we rediscovered the principle there is no free lunch. The first point that needs to be articulated is a realistic understanding of the cost. And I think that is something, because governments, always when they are involved as in most of these instances when there is a subsidy involved, constantly underestimate the cost of projects. And as a result, they end up in trouble. They end up not being fulfilled.
So I think an aggregation of the true cost. For example in the islands it's very clear that getting cable is going to be a far cry and take a long time and in nerves of satellite coverage, the government is now decided to put up its own satellite to get coverage. In terms of saying, look, what is the true cost of providing? What is the subsidy? How do we basically go around making sure that private public partnerships, which ultimately seem to be working, are the paradigm so that the cost elements are properly understood, the paybacks and going forward. Points that they transfer between government and private are perfectly understood. That's the first one.
The second thing, very often we get a very paternalistic approach to solving our problems. We say, this is what we think will happen. Very often when we go into situations and put up a site, you will be surprised at the types of things that happen in terms of dynamics, what is used, how people use it, and what they use it for. So the first point is that let's just be a little more open and flexible in terms of the approach that is used in terms of the interaction of the folks that are using. They are not one homogenized pool and we seen this in the Aneime Islands where you have a very large transient population, a population that is very tourist‑oriented and indigenous population.
So, this issue of subsidies alcohols very key because the folks who appear on these tourist ships are not to be subsidized. The question then is, what is the roaming arrangements and how do these work and what is the cost of these cross subsidies that come from these types of roaming arrangements that come and use the infrastructure. So that is something that needs to be looked at very critically.
The second thing is aggregation of public policy. One of the problems we face in the Aneime Niqab Islands, is you can't put up a cell site in just about two‑thirds of the island. Why? It's government forest. It's near sensitive properties, IE beach land, mangroves, these types of things. We have to ask ourselves where does public policy in terms of the preservation of the environment and these types of restrictions, fit in in terms of where people do and live and do their business?
I think there needs to be a major in terms of public policy in terms of how we go about that. And the final point I want to make is when there are subsidies and cross subsidies, one of the issues the Government of India faces, how do we ensure the subsidy gets into the right hands? We have that problem and look for example, handsets are very expensive and service is expensive and we are going to target this the population to ensure that they get the appropriate subsidies. Well, when identity is a problem and you don't have bank accounts and all of these issues, how do you make sure that the subsidy gets into the right hands and it doesn't get spread into the wrong hands and all of this?
The government has to face those types of issues and challenges and that is one of the things we are dealing with in the other type of issues in terms of making sure that people have some access to informal banking arrangements or some such thing in order to be able to ensure we go forward. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I think this is very healthy discussion. Although it's starting to feel like I'm moderating a public debate here. So, perhaps we have another gentleman. Are you waiting to speak, sir? Go ahead.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. It's Mike Henson from the Association for Progressive Communications. I have been involved in advising on a number of submarine cable fiber projects for islands in the Indian Ocean in the south Atlantic and I was thinking that it would be good to try and focus the efforts we have around here on some of the specific challenges that Small Island Developing States have, namely being very far away from the hubs of the Internet, small populations, small economies.
People in Saint Helena have a huge difficulty in justifying the cost of getting a submarine cable there. How do we do this in a way that makes it cheap enough so that people can make the Internet free or subsidize it in some way that it makes it very low cost for most people?
And I was happy to hear the example in Sao Tome where there is a public‑private partnership that created open access infrastructure that created competitive environment that makes it cheap enough for people to get access at an affordable rate. And so, what is particularly interesting to me at the moment is the situation in the Caribbean right now where we have such a consolidation in the market that it seems like 90% of the capacity in the region is going to be controlled by one operator. How are we going to deal with that situation in the long run in terms of keeping sure or making sure that there is say competitive pressure in the market and keeping prices affordable enough for a free‑type access? Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. And so I'm seeing quite a few hands. Let me pose the next question and revert to the crowd and see if you can bring your responses into the line of the next question into view to the Panel which is, what are the options available in Small Island Developing States in exploring increased access, promoting inclusion? So we have this quite healthy discussion going on. What are the options available? And I think some of our colleagues from the audience just brought that together. So I'm seeing my first colleague from PNG. Can you introduce yourself?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello. My name is Ceica (sp) from Papua, New Guinea. I think in Papua, New Guinea and a lot of Pacific Islands also, there is somewhat of a Internet phobia starting to develop in that people are afraid because of increasingly high cost of Internet, they are afraid of having their data on because the pre‑paid phone credit they have just runs out and that is a very scary situation for me.
I think we keep going back to the government but maybe the government is not as aware of what is happening in our space of expertise. So, I think maybe that is one area that we can probably work on is improving government capacity in this area so that the correct interventions can be made and rather than just align the market to determine what people have access to, maybe it's just something they will look into. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. We have Kevon.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much. Kevon Swift from LACNIC but I'm really just making this comment and to some of the previous comments before, in a personal capacity. I just wanted to touch a bit on what the gentleman from APC said and I think Ginger touched on it a bit. I think one of the interesting things for me is that I think we do have a good exchange of Caribbean perspectives on some of the common topics that we hear about. Free Internet. What is free? But in considering what options we have for Small Island state, Small Island Developing States, I really wanted to find out where are we addressing these options?
When we talk about building physical infrastructure we adjust them in the right places. I say so because when I was looking at the session, I know we spoke about a SIDS conference moving from Barbados to Samoa. And I feel as if when it comes that sort of like, we know it is a slider between market forces and intervention, but I feel as if in the SIDS conference, in the SIDS dialogue, it's not appropriately addressed. So, while we are talking about options, while we are talking about solutions, to actually get that information from a SIDS perspective, not just Caribbean and Pacific, but AIMS. I'm not sure if anyone from AIMS are here. How do we address that and are we addressing it correctly?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I think actually I'm going to turn it and address issues and Deidre you had an intervention and address the point. I think we do have a challenge with that. In the SIDS conference, the ICT component is extremely limited. It's extremely limited and not discussed. And we do need to find pay way to bring that dialogue into that area where we can all discuss among ourselves so governments and Civil Society in the islands can have this discussion among ourselves and push it forward.
>> DEIRDRE WILLIAMS: Deidre Williams from St. Lucia again. There is something that would help us very much as well as being here, I'm a housewife. And if I have to buy things for the house, I need to look tea price because I don't have endless money. Now, a business is a business with now ethic. And the business's ethic is tied to its profit, its bottom line. And that is perfectly all right. That's the way those things run.
What I'm having difficulty with is that the business seems to want to present itself as an altruistic organization, which it isn't. I'm sorry. It isn't. I don't mind you wanting to make a profit. But what I would like in this new atmosphere of transparency is for you to tell me how much it costs. We have been told over and over again that IXPs are a very good idea because they save so much in the cost of international transmission of data. I've asked. How much this costs? I'd like to know. And then I know I, at the bottom of the stack, I can know how much I can afford to pay. Nobody will tell me.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: So, our roundtable is fun. So there are two responses to the IXP issue apparently. But Bevil, can you intervene and perhaps we can move to the gentleman on my left and then back to Bob.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Bevil Wooding of Packet Clearing House. I can link this to Deidre's question as well. I wanted to talk about this issue of the, how this infrastructure ties into the affordability, ties into the development of more local content. I think the connection is important. We had some interesting debate over the separation between infrastructure and the applications that run on top of that infrastructure and I think that that decision is important but that distinction also points to a synchronization that has to take place if you want to achieve the optimal group of the Internet in any jurisdiction whether large or small.
So if we look at ‑‑ let me paraphrase. Whatever can be done to reduce the cost of access and to improve the robustness of infrastructure is beneficial to the Internet group. So what you get then is an understanding of some levers, reducing the cost of that, this is one lever. Improving the robustness of the Internet is another. Stimulating local content development is another. And there are levers that have to be manipulated in a way that one takes into consideration the uniqueness of any local domain or space. But two, also has to link to what is the available local resource that can be directed to implement infrastructure improvement or expansion, implement local content development, or implement the issue of understanding the economics of Internet access in a jurisdiction. And I have over the last few years, been fortunate enough to see some of those levers in action. And I'll use the proliferation of Internet Exchange Points in the Caribbean toil straight some of the reasons why you can't get a simple answer as an IXP causes X or Y or Z, because whatever you want it to cost to get it going.
( Laughs )
That is the point. These are often talked about as critical or foundation Internet infrastructure, critical infrastructure that many people use to describe the role of exchange points. They are supposed to accelerate local content production and reduce cost and improve bandwidth access. But from the global example of exchange points, you will see that not all jurisdictions where they implement, have all the benefit working in the same way to the same extent. A
nd I think that is a good indicator of some of the complexity that is involved in building out what some people call the domestic Internet Economy which plugs into the global Internet Economy. And for Small Island Developing States, a lot of the challenges are no different from rural districts in developed states and larger economies and so on. These are the same issues. And while there are some unique challenges, distance in the Pacific Islands for example, or in the case of the Caribbean, the existence of a super dominant wholesale Internet provider, the fundamental issue of manipulating these levers becomes a priority if we are to look at how do you get to low cost access or improving infrastructure.
I want to give an example of what is taking place in the Caribbean to kind of round off my contribution. The organization of eastern Caribbean states, nine‑member treaty‑based organization, is currently looking at a way to deliver what they have defined as public good Internet services, by implementing their own fiber Sub‑C connectivity ring. And that technical feasibility for that is being done. And I was making the point in one of the lead‑up discussions of that process, that announcement would be sufficient to reduce the cost of wholesale Internet access in the Caribbean. Just the announcement. A group of national governments exploring the possibility of putting in place their own Internet infrastructure at the sub sea level would trigger a reassessment or re‑evaluation of the economics of the commercial Internet service provider in that jurisdiction. And I'm so again ‑‑ the levers access infrastructure, content, all have to be manipulated in sync if you want to get optimal Internet benefit.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you, Bevil.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good morning, my name is Mike from Google. I work a lot with our teams that build Google's network and infrastructure especially in Africa. So I'm only going to talk about the infra structure and not the business model so I don't get in trouble with Vint and especially one of the key leaders that Bevil mentioned with reducing the cost of access. And I think a lot of the discussions I have been hearing this morning, if we can get to a situation of abundance of Internet, capacity and bandwidth, then we don't need to talk about scarcity. We don't need to try to deal with problems of partial access offerings and so on. And my thought would be, I think, especially for some of these small states and Small Island Developing States, if you could be open to innovative ideas and approaches as to twice tackle this problem, I think it will be really help move innovation forward.
Just to give a couple of examples, things that we are working on at Google, like using TV white spaces for transmission of data so you don't have to necessary have a license spectrum always interfering with the licensed operators. Last week I think we announced a paper with the Telecoms operators in Indonesia to help expand coverage across Indonesia, 17,000 islands, I think, incredibly hard to provide mobile phone coverage across those countries. And loan could be an innovative way of bringing of the costs both Internet access in Indonesia down.
So, just to summarize, just to say innovation can come from any direction, any participant in the Internet Ecosystem, whether it's a Telecoms operator or a content company like Google or a government or educational initiative. So be open to that innovation and it be help, I think.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So Bob and then Vint and then Carlton to assess or to provide the options that small Developing States can take forward in terms of getting more affordable Internet access.
>> BOB FRANKS: My comfort zone is a deep technical decision of how this works. What I do want to emphasize is much of what I hear, in of Internet access, providers, and all of these are the 19th Century vocabulary and the created value inside the network that can preserve the call and everything. That was a business model very much like a railroad. The Internet, the value is created outside of the network.
So it becomes technology is enabling a very different economic model and one was accounting. So you ask about a cost of ISP, you can't answer that because the cost of anything depends on your accounting model and with this, for example competing broadband doesn't make sense because it's all one Internet. So we have to really sort of understand that the Internet is a fundamentally different concept and we can consider the ‑‑ don't have to synchronize all the stuff in the same way because any way we can get capacity, we can use it. Separately we can find uses.
So really have to understand this new marketplace dynamic. That is enabled by simply with best effort packs. That was the real insight of the Internet was a switch from the network providing reliability to taking all that out of the network and accepting that constraint. I think that was the hardest part.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Can I toss to Vint to give thoughts as to what he thinks perhaps are options these Small Island States could have to give more formal access?
>> VINT CERF: First thing I would observe the idea that the islands got together and cooperate said wonderful. I hoped that we would see this kind of collaborative choice, whether building fiber together or doing satellite capacity or something else to essentially take advantage of their ability to leverage demand. So that is one point which I'm really glad to hear about.
The second point is that once the infrastructure is in place, it is arguable that it is only useful if the applications and content are of interest to the people that that infrastructure is trying to serve. The people who build the physical infrastructure are often not the people who produce the content and generate applications, and that is actually a good thing. It's not that they can't do that, in many cases they do. Google is an example of that. We are fairly vertical when it comes to applications and infrastructure but the good part is that you don't have to be vertical structure in order to provide these things. Anyone, in a sense, should be free to supply content and applications. That is what made the Internet and its architecture so powerful it is open to anyone offering these various kinds of applications.
So, the solution for the islands, though, boils down to what the two friends here on either side have been saying, which is that getting local access is one set of problems. And it can be done in a variety of different ways at varying costs and varying parts who pay. Getting expect activity to the global Internet is another problem. And that has its own set of dynamics. We are had hearing various ways to achieve that but we should be careful not to lump all of these problems together into one thing. They can be disarticulated and solutions can be found for each of them. Sometimes very different business models or if not business ‑‑ I don't want to over emphasize business. Cost models and cost recovery models can vary for different parts.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: So, here are some of the things we are doing in the Caribbean, access and connectivity.
>> CARLTON SAMUELS: The idea is we have to change. It converges ‑‑ policy converges there. So we have universal service obligations and one of the things that we have been pushing governments to do is to change universal service obligations from small world voice to broadband. And with that happening, you will begin to see the commercial providers now having to look to different strategies to build out infrastructure in support of their service obligations for which they are licensed. We see examples of this in the Bahamas. For example, the Bahamas, television signals are universal service obligation. Guess how they offer television services in the Bahamas by cable. So they have cable systems building out and you have wire broadband and that is happening.
We are looking to the public‑private partnership to build out the network and happening in a variety of ways. We have white spaces. There is new interest in using TDY spaces and what is accrued from the digital dividends from analogue to digital broadcasting to make that available. We are running a I pilot in Jamaica to see how that can be used and specifically to be used for broadband wireless Internet access. About some things have to converge around there.
We have to change the spectrum management frameworks. And we are promoting, realignment of the spectrum. We are promoting realignment of the spectrum so that we can have access to delivery platforms, high altitude platforms to deliver. You heard of one project, loan, that is one type. There are others out there. And the idea is that if you can get or use platforms to have more Wi‑Fi access, then the coverage increases and the accessibility increases and it's a low cost to provision that infrastructure.
Bevil has been very reticent to talk about some of the work she doing because you have to drive demand. So content is important. And he has been doing a lot of work in helping to build the infrastructure, to create content, to make local content available. He has been training content providers in all content and providing developers to develop mobile development. He has been a lot of work on that. We have been working with libraries to develop union catalogs, a lot of local content that can be promoted if we can find it. And one of the things that union catalogs do, it allows you to access the fine content. Deidre is here. She say librarian and knows about this very well.
So these are things that we are doing right now. The challenge we have as Bevil tells you, is you have to use different pieces of the puzzle to move it along. And it's not going to be seamless all the time because in some places, it is the content part that is high priority. In other places, it is the policy part that is priority to get through. And there is an orchestration that is required. And this is where all of us come into play now because the knowledge that is required to make all of these things work is diffused and not all concentrations in one place. That's where the collaboration is very important. We don't mind having people from the outside collaborate with us to achieve an objective. And it is important for you to understand that in the Caribbean, the market stratification that is happening in the Caribbean right now is a cause for concern for lots of whose think it is important to improve access to improve connectivity.
And some of these things we are talking about is some of the ways that we can push back on that possibility. So, things are happening. What we would wish to tell you is that you have to find your place to participate. Find your place to:rate. We could get some things done.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. We have five minutes left. I'm quite seeing a lot of fingers going up. Dr. Patrick Hosein wanted to say something. Deidre will dot final statement so please allow her some time to do that. Please keep your interventions very brief now.
>> PATRICK HOSEIN: Just a short comment. One area I'm interested in for our island is QUALCOMM and others are developing a version of LTE for unlicensed spectrum and in some countries they use it flow traffic from the cellular network et cetera and I think that will be something useful in our environment.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm Mike Oghia Internet Society Ambassador. I never lived on an island and not from an island state. But this is a more of a comment for the session as a whole. Something I think, one thing I'd like to emphasize that hasn't been stressed enough is the critical role of Civil Society in capacity building, monitoring regulation, regulation as well. Definitely is a space that is inherently connected to accessibility and proliferation and cost. And Civil Society has a very important role to play to hold governments and private companies accountable for how their services and expansion impacts island citizens, for either positively or negatively.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. Bevil you had an intervention?
>> BEVIL WOODING: I was going to suggest emphasize this issue of collaboration. Vint said earlier there are different parts and each part was essentially distinct. I made the point about synchronization. There is a way towards that synchronization. Most of the actors infrastructure space and local content space or in the policy space, don't really see or spoke to each other in the same way using the same language. And a huge part of moving this along in sync has to do with these kinds of conversation that is give opportunity for a common understanding of what we are trying to build when we say Internet Economy or when we say we want Internet access and those kinds of things.
I want to give one quick example of a digitization project that Antigua and Barbados is considering as an example of how snag would have been too small to be considered viable in one country can solve the needs of several. Digitization of content is of course, a pre‑rec sit for getting content online and there is a lot of government content and a lot of national content that remains in these formats. When we say we need more local content, there are building websites and videos and these things and then this issue of taking archives and making them available on the Internet and right now that Antigua government is considering setting up a system in place that not only includes equipment and infrastructure but training that can then cause them to serve as a hub for digitization exercises in the Caribbean.
Those kinds of collaborative efforts are big part of the synchronization that we speak of that ties into the world that is going on at the exchange pointed and service providers around, how do we refashion the universal service to support what kind of new initiatives. And because those conversations are taking place at the same time, have you some momentum being moved towards something that can make a difference.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. I saw a hand go up. Keep it very brief.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. So very quickly, there are small group subset of Developing States as classified as least Developed Countries.
(Indiscernible) ‑‑ calls for universal and affordable access for these countries by in five years. What is important particularly within these countries, there is often a gap between access for men and women and I think we should recognize that as well when we talk about efforts to provide access for all, and affordability for all, this is the gap that needs to be congressed in those countries.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Very important point. Rhea can you help us close up?
>> RHEA YAW CHING: I want to make a quick point. The last segment or group that I think is not reflected in being able to extract the best value out of the endpoint of the Internet for Small Island Developing States is the inclusion of other regulatory environments that make those applications and contented seamless to provide the activity we need and I'm referring to the regulators in the finance area being able to ‑‑ if we believe that financial resources are underpinned driving of economic growth and development, then that entity or group must be able to work in tandem with the solution providers and the Telecoms base and the application creators and so on to be able to make that seamless solution to make sense.
So and there are other regulators and other areas that I think need to start being included in these kinds of conversations as well.
So that being said, I'm going to try to summarize a very interesting and vibrant points raised here. I think we started off with a definition dichotomy. And I think what we settled on is being able to understand what is Free Internet as it relates to the parts of the Internet, the infrastructure or talking about applications or are we talking about the parts of it that are free for use or is it free from payment and so on? And I think it is in a sense all of the above but we have to be able to discuss each one of these in its respective streams as it relates to the overall objective, again, in being able to derive the maximum benefit for our own small economies.
And again, the objective with all trying to arrive at is access and utilization towards the consideration of the applications that can transform those economies and we understand from the discussion now we understand that there are system of levers that need to work in tandem in order for that to happen. And that multiple parts of the Internet working in tandem with different stakeholders, have to work to use the words adopted here, work in synchronization in order for the entire thing to happen. But, with a deep understanding that synchronization may not necessarily happen in a seamless way or arrive at a seamless way or at the appropriate times and we want.
The system around us needs to be orchestrated so that we can arrive at that synchronization of the various components of the Internet so that we can manipulate those levers and that becomes, if I understand it correctly, the imperative now; the imperative that we are able to identify those levers, how they move and work within our own economies, and as a collective, in order to work it.
One of the strong points that came out as well was that there needs to be an expansion of the stakeholders of the Internet with a stropping focus on non‑technology players, Civil Society academia and so on, to be formative in ‑‑ or part of that ecosystem of players.
And finally, it seems very obvious now but collaboration is key and collaboration is not easy, especially where there are Agendas that are diverse. But a large part of the collaboration is underpinned by the need for ‑‑ they think came out last, a common understanding of what we are talking about here. A common understanding of the framework, the language, and the overall objective so that we can realize the aspiration that is we want economically and socially for our region.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you very much, Rhea, and I think that was an excellent appreciation of the discussion that we had. I think we all agreed it was very healthy and quite informative and animated in some cases. And I trust you appreciated the roundtable format where everyone has a chance to see and to contribute and respond. Thank you all for coming and I do appreciate your enthusiasm and vibrant commentary. Just to let you know that this session is a feeder session into the 2:00 session this afternoon. So please, come and intervene if you need to regarding this session. Rhea will be doing the read out into the Main Session but we also appreciate any further discussions you may have. So thank you very much and enjoy the rest of your IGF and have a productive rest of your day. Thank you very much to all my discussants. Thank you very much.