Seventh Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum
6-9 November 2012, Baku, Azerbaijan
8 November 2012
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Seventh Meeting of the IGF, in Baku, Azerbaijan. 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 session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
CHAIR: Thank you very much.
Chengetai Masango: The Chair requests if people can come to the front because of the camera and the webcast so that if you are talking people can see you.
I also have one other request that if you are taking the microphone, could you please state your name and the organisation for the captioners. Thank you.
CHAIR: Thank you very much. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. We now resume the meeting and I open this morning session dealing with the access and diversity. My co moderators who will run the session for us, Mrs Karen Rose of the Internet Society and Mrs Ory Okolloh from Google Africa. Remote moderators are Mrs Claudia Selli and Mrs Raquel Gatto, ICOC Appraisal.
Issues of access and diversity have been discussed at each of the six IGF meetings. We have had discussions about essential infrastructures such as internet exchange points and the deployment of fibre optic cable.
Last year in Nairobi, I understand the main issue was about the mobile internet. This year we will focus on social and economic development and we have seven experts to provide comment and the ideas for our discussions.
The goal of the session is to have a broad discussion with all of you in the audience. Please be ready to take the microphone and pose your questions or give short replies based on your own experience, I emphasise short reply, please.
Our moderators will take us through a number of the questions. You can find a list in the programme, in your paper.
For Azerbaijan, I would like to emphasise the importance of the role of government in creating a favourable enabling environment. The President has begun initiative to support private sector ownership, innovation and scientific research, notably through the State Foundation for Information Technologies Development.
We have seen the country's ICT sector double in the past three years. Income from the sector in 2011 was approximately USD 1.7 billion, like the rest of the world, the mobile sector been very dynamic, both 3G and 4G.
Azerbaijan is the member of the Trans Asian Superinformation Highway (TASIM), an important regional initiative whose purpose is to lay a transnational fibre optic cable and line covering the Eurasian countries, mainly from Western Europe to Eastern Asia.
This type of initiative is important to landlocked countries. Government with and supporting the private sector and resource community has been important to the growth of the ICT sector.
We will now hear from the moderators who will further set the scene for this afternoon's(sic) dialogue. Let's think about the barriers to access and use, also opportunities. We should be positive and take away positive messages from increasing access and diversity.
As I mentioned before, the session will be moderated by the Mrs Karen Rose and Mrs Ory Okolloh, with remote participation facilitated by Claudia Selli and Mrs Raquel Getto.
So over to you, ladies and gentlemen. Mrs Karen, here you are.
KAREN ROSE: Thank you Mrs Chairwoman and good morning, everyone. My name is Karen Rose and I'm Senior Director of Strategic Development and Business Planning at the Internet Society.
On behalf of the IGF organisers and the Multi stakeholder Advisory Committee, I would like to welcome to you to this main session on access and diversity.
I would argue that the issue of access and diversity and the topics we will be discussing in this session are some of the most important of the entire IGF because without access and diversity few of the other internet governance issues we discuss in this forum have any practical impact.
As noted, in keeping with the theme of the 7th IGF, we will explore access and diversity from a perspective of economic, human and social development. In order to do so, we are going to seek to go beyond what is often a binary proposition of discussing disparities between those who have access and those who do not.
This is sometimes too simple of a context. Rather we will be looking at internet access and diversity as more of a value proposition and the issues that need to be addressed in order to transform the unconnected into empowered users, users into internet creators and internet creators, into the innovators that will fuel the economic transformation and international development we seek.
We have been asked to explore five topics today. We will start with infrastructure, move to mobile and innovation, go to human empowerment, then free flow of information and multilingualism.
We are very fortunate to be joined today by some of the world's most foremost thinkers in the area.
Before I turn over to co moderator to get us started I would just like to offer a word a bit on our limitations. As has been noted we have been asked to tackle an enormous topic today and many critical sub topics.
We have asked the panelists to keep their remarks concise and I would now ask the same of everyone here as they consider the interventions and comments on the panel.
With that I would like to turn it over to my co moderator Ory Okolloh to get us started.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, before we get started I would just like to introduce the panelists with their names and titles. If you could just raise your hand so the audience knows who I am referring to although I guess they can see the names as well.
We are privileged to have, as Karen said, a great group of speakers on the panel. First off you have Dr Bitange Ndemo who is the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of information and Communication in Kenya.
We also have Dr Tarek Kamel, Senior Adviser to the President of ICANN and former minister of ICT in Egypt.
We have Mr Janis Karklins, Assistant Director General for UNESCO's communication and information sector.
Miss Jac sm Lee, Womens Rights Advocacy Coordinator, who is also Womens Network Supporting Programme, APC.
Mr Peter Major, he is a coordinator of the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disabilities, also known as DCAD.
Mr Cecil McCain, who is Director Post Internet Communications, Jamaica.
Ms Jacquelynn or Jackie Ruff right next to me, who is the VP for International Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs with Horizon and Mr Satish Babu who is the director of the International for Free and Open Source Software in India.
With that I will get right to the opening question.
We will start off with addressing around the issue of access, you know, underlying access infrastructure and the question is how, with the growing increased demand for bandwidth and for lowest cost of internet access and with the revenue shifts affecting investment in broadband infrastructure and access networks, how we deal with this issue or what I would like to call, "Who pays for all of this"? How we meet the growing demand, as I said, for fast access, quick speed, lower prices, both on the mobile side and on the broadband side.
If I can start off with you Dr Ndemo, can you share your experiences perhaps from Kenyan and from Africa in terms of what is the thinking around this question?
BITANGE NDEMO: Thank you, Ory. Until four years ago, Kenya did not have sufficient broadband and what we did was to work with the private sector through public/private partnerships to lay the fibre optics that landed on the coast of Kenya.
Then internally we have worked very closely again with the private sector to develop the terrestrial fibre and now we are working on the last mile.
We have paid attention to those in the rural areas by creating a value proposition for creating ICT, ICT's in the rural areas, and soon we are hopefully going to cover the whole country.
We have subsidised the broadband to universities through the local [name inaudible]. The national research and education network was fully funded, to provide broadband to universities and we are hoping to get to high schools and Primary Schools throughout the country.
The government plays a very key role in terms of creating access to broadband, to a large extent. Thank you.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, and I will turn over next to Mr McCain. I think we have heard a lot of the role of government and Kenya has been known for driving this model of public/private partnerships.
Can you share your experience on the same and maybe speak to also what are the policy measures we can be taken to drive or to address the question of investment infrastructure?
CECIL McCAIN: Thank you very much. Like the experience in Kenya, Jamaica had a similar experience. When we liberalised the telecommunication sector in early 2000 there was a revolutionary change to the entire telecommunications sector, led by investments in voice.
The licensing regime allowed for the increased international bandwidth into Jamaica. With that came significant investments in terms of international bandwidth in Jamaica.
These investments, however, unfortunately did not translate into increased internet usage. In fact, the subscription rates for, for internet is below 10 per cent in Jamaica and that has been the challenge.
We see like Kenya, we realise that the government does need to play a role and as a result, through the Universal Service Fund we have brought the internet, we are bringing internet access through most communities to schools, libraries, post offices and thereby enabling the communities through which this backbone passed to have access to the internet.
We recognise however that the investments however need to be demand driven and that recognises as a major difficulties that governments have to deal with. How do you get demand? How do you create demand? Is it simply a case of, you know, providing how do you provide access to those in need, do you give them free connections? Do you give them discounted access or do you create services such that demand will be driven by need or perceived need?
I believe that the answer to increasing investment in broadband lies in us understanding the delicate balance between supply and demand and how do you stimulate investments which would generate adequate demand for broadband.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, and I will turn over to Jackie now I think and that has set quite the framework in addressing what I think remains the pressing question of both backhaul and last mile and demand and what can be done based on your experience, what are the trends in the industry in terms of the question in terms of how to invest infrastructure and how to address the question demand.
JACQUELIE RUFF: Thank you, let me first I am hearing an echo, I guess it is okay let me first describe Horizon Communications and the perspective we bring to this.
We are, in the United States, a very big provider of mobile services, fibre in the home, every type of infrastructure that you could think of, we also have a global network of undersea cables and we also provide enterprise services, cloud services around the world.
So I am bringing those perspectives as well as that of following trends generally and I think the previous speakers really set the foundation very nicely. I want to talk about what are some of the regulatory and public policy frameworks that we find to be conducive to getting private investment as part of that public/private partnership that was described.
So a few categories, one Dr Ndemo talked about and our moderator also talked about which is that if you want investment in one part of the chain of the infrastructure, it is very important to also have the other parts of that infrastructure be robust.
So that would be your international connectivity; your backhaul; your internet connection like ISP's and then your last mile. So looking at those who maybe part of the private capital; the question then would be, are there barriers to that private sector type of investment? For example, foreign ownership limits or requirements if we are talking about certain services like cloud services. Are there requirements that actually stand in the way of certain types of services like a requirement to have all of your facilities in country rather than some being done through a cloud. Those kinds of things or technical requirements to use a certain technology or have import duties on hardware and software.
That is the examination of whether there are barriers, then are there incentives that could be adopted like tax policy; or the use of Universal Service Funds as was mentioned before; access to rights of way?
Are there pro competition policies? Is the spectrum policy pro competitive? Are the licensing policies flexible, as was mentioned in Jamaica? Is there a level playing field for various types of providers.
Another important factor, if you look at trends, is there a national plan, really putting all of the pieces together? And some of the most successful countries such as Korea have always had national plans that bring together agencies.
I also would just say, touch for a moment on the demand and creating that and I agree with the previous speakers that we really need to look at both of those, those questions. We find even in the U.S, we do not have as many people using broadband as is available and the surveys show that one of the primary factors is that they don't think it is meaningful for them. It is not affordability even in our low income areas, and I recently saw a survey in Brazil that came up with exactly the same question. What is the service going to do for my life? Therefore I think we should talk during this panel about things like e health, e government, e education, distance learning; I know there is a lot of that in Africa for example. The more we can do that type of demand, I think the more we will close the gap between availability which is increasing and the actual usage.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you and if I can turn over to you, Satish, just, do you have any response to some of the remarks from the panel, as particularly I think on this question, it is I think we are moving towards a theme where it is infrastructure alone is not enough to ensure access. Can you perhaps share some of your thoughts on what, in response, on what we can do to overcome, to overcome this when we talk about access?
SATISH BABU: Thank you Ory. First of all we see there are two aspects to the question; that is infrastructure and there are the other factors that promote the use of infrastructure and drive demand.
On the infrastructure, from what I can hear, the various panelists, the points that have been made relate to the 4 aspects of the infrastructure, the backhaul, the last file the international and now the cloud. Now we do not necessarily have coherence among the policies that led to all this (inaudible) so the cloud is very new and the national policies do not not yet encompass all these 4 in the matter of, in a coherent manner. So I think that is one area we have to look at.
The other area relates to the other, the demand side of services for example, social innovation and the all the other e health and government and so on and SMEs and I believe the SMEs have a major role to play and we need to ensure that small businesses can also survive. Of course, the larger business perspectives for example, pro competitive regulation has already been mentioned and those of course they are not new and we continue to go for those kind of regulations, thank you.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, I think another we have heard from the panel in the interests of time, I move over to Stuart, if you can provide, speak from the front, provide your input from the workshop where, where this issue was discussed, if you can make your intervention now. Thank you.
STUART HAMILTON: Thank you very much. My name is Stuart Hamilton, I am reporting back from workshop 1.30 which was on what policy makers want and how libraries and other community services can deliver in terms of public access to the internet. This was organised by IFLA, my organisation; electronic information for libraries and ISOC.
We had a full room; a very engaged discussion; remote participation and a panel made up of very diverse multi stakeholders to address this issue. We know that there are over 2 billion now online, but of course not all of them have public, have access to the internet in their own homes. So public access to the internet is an extremely important thing.
Our policy makers on the panel, which included representatives from Romania and from Bhutan, but we also touched on Ghana and Poland and many other countries. Talked about how they were exploring public access solutions to meet community needs and we discussed the policy makers want solutions that take advantage of existing infrastructure and expertise and also have the flexibility to partner with the private sector. So the workshop focused on libraries and how they can fit into this role.
The experience of our participants was that libraries are very well suited to this. They know their community; they understand their needs and they are able to tie their services not only to these needs but also to national policies and community policies for development and for access to information.
Libraries offer expertise and counselling; physical space; skills and training development; and access to some other things which you are not just going to get through mobile technology. Very often when people are looking for jobs they need to print out CV's, they need to access printed documents and libraries offer these facilities.
We talked very much about the examples in the workshop about how the libraries are providing access to information on jobs; health information; services for women and children.
So in the interests of keeping this short, there is a full report on the IFLA website at www.ifla.org and the conversation will continue this afternoon in Room 7 at 2:30 when the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access Through Libraries meets for the first time. Thank you.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thanks Stuart and for keeping it brief and comprehensive.
Did you have, so, I think before we take questions from the floor, I would like to allow for, are there any questions remotely from the remote participants? No questions, ok. I think we will open the questions up to the questions from the floor, if you can please.
Your name and organisation you are representing. Thank you.
SUBI CHATURVEDI: Hi, good morning my name is Subi Chaturvedi and I represent the academic and the civil society community from India. It is an important region, so to say, because we are discussing the issue of access and diversity and I couldn't agree more with Karen that this is one of the most important sessions we can look at on the question and I am, I think I think it is extremely important that when we look at this region because when we are talking about enabling environments and that is the focus of this team. We are we are looking at an eco sphere that looks at facilitating infrastructure which can take us through not just being infrastructure to a point where it can facilitate penetration and broadband. I would like to start by giving you very briefly some of the numbers that we are looking at.
On the question of diversity, India has over 18 languages that are recognised in it's Constitution. This is a rupee note that has about 15 scripts which are written out of respect for diversity. We have interesting levels of literacy, so there is literacy, no literacy and there is key pad literacy and that is where I am coming from. In terms of interventions and where we are at, there are about 700 million active mobile users, about 125 million users on the internet. There is a USO fund which looks at every user, every mobile telephone user in India contributing about 5 per cent of their charges on to the USO fund, which is the Universal Service Obligation, and just coming to two key points.
We have had a fantastic story as far as Telecom is concerned. This is one of the key revolutions of the unifying factors of this very diverse nation; other than railways, movies and cricket. And this has happened because we have a system that is worked locally; that is nimble footed; that has been able to do at least 3 national revisions unlike the system at the ITU which is, which last saw revisions 24 years ago and what might key point here is, when we are looking at access, we are looking at countries which are very diverse. So I believe a solution, a blanket solution which is being proposed at the moment that one size fits all, cannot be a solution because there are clearly models that have worked. I will just take about two seconds more, Ory, and I will end there.
I think it is a very important thing because we are having this conversation at the IGF and it is a bottoms up approach. We cannot look at facilitating access through a top down approach, especially at a platform where none of us are going to be there in the room, in the some of the most key decision making sessions.
So that is my submission, if we can look at more domestic, more local solutions and look at solutions which have actually worked and not try and reinvent the wheel. I think we owe it to our generations to come and this is a resource that is very, very crucial and important to all of us. Thank you.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, thank you, thank you for your intervention. If you could have, I will take maybe 2 more questions, 2 or 3 more questions at the same time? If you could go and speak at the microphone? Is there anyone else with a question? Or intervention? Okay, right, can we start there since you are already at the mike.
NAVEEN TANDON: Good morning, my name is Naveen Tandon and I represent the Internet Providers Association. Just, not in the form of a question but just an observation and for the information and for everybody in the house, I would like to mention that infrastructures certainly is quite important and critical for the growth of access and diversity in a country. Here I would like to inform that India has specially taken a remarkable step in the formulation of a broadband plan and they have already tied up almost 4 million dollars which will be spent over the next 2 years to provide connectivity to almost 250,000 villages. On the policy front there have been major initiatives taken already. The National Telecom Policy of 2012 talks about growth avenues and they have been impressive growth targets for the broadband and the plan to achieve almost 600 million by 2020 and 175 million by 2017. The policy document does talks about the enabling framework for cloud; international connectivity and some pro, regulatory policy which will certainly help grow the Telecom sector. So we can have diversity; we can have talk about e governance content but unless until we have the required infrastructure in place, the required highway is not in place; then it is very difficult to provide connectivity to especially who are there in the rural areas who really don't understand what the internet means unless they actually see it. Thank you very much.
ORY OKOLLOH: These, these documents online for people who might want to take a look.
NAVEEN TANDON: Oh yes, and after the meeting is over, I can certainly share these documents, I can share my card and accordingly share those documents with you.
ORY OKOLLOH: Ok, fantastic. Thank you.
FATIMA CAMBRONERO: Hello, my name is Fatima Cambromero, I am ISOC Ambassador but I will speak in my personal capacity.
The question is, there has been tremendous growth in international undersea cable capacity around the world including in Africa. Where are the solution that will help bring with this capacity from the coast and major cities and into the area. Thank you.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, if I can ask Dr Ndemo to speak and share his experience, because we are, that is something we are actually working on, if any other panelists would like to respond as well.
BITANGE NDEMO: I want to add on what I said with respect to the experience in Kenya. Initially we focused on the demand side of the broadband and what we are working now is, we worked on the supply side of broadband and we are now focussing on the demand side by doing a lot more to make sure that those who are not connected are indeed connected to especially in the rural areas. As you know in Africa most rural areas take much longer but we have invested in terms of creating rural digital centres which will be used mostly with the education and access to many other services.
At the same time we have got them into local application development and this is the fastest growing area now and some of the applications are targeting the rural populations. Most of you probably know Kenya has been the lead with respect to mobile money and also we are coming up with other applications targeting the health care sector, the agricultural sector. We, responding to my colleague here from Jamaica, and as Jackie said, there is a way of creating demand for the supply that is increasing. Indeed in Kenya we say, that actually, what at some point people saw in the movie Field of Dreams, we say, they said "build it and they will come". We are very happy with the uptake of broadband in Kenya and it didn't not just happen; it is the government specifically worked on the demand side and by digitising, providing some of the services that I have said, then you actually get the balance you need and then ensure that everybody participates in the realm of the ICT.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, Janis? You had an intervention?
JANIS KARKLINS: Yes, thank you. I would like to strengthen this point on very clear link between infrastructure and content. It is little bit chicken and egg problem. You cannot have infrastructure without having also a content, because if there is no use of infrastructure; there is no return on investment; there is no possibility of reinvesting these funds which have been received by offering services. And of course you can not provide services if you do not have infrastructure.
From other point, we need also to understand that there should be right policies because, the study which UNESCO, OECD and ISOC did last year proved that there is a very, direct and positive correlation between the volume of local content which is kept on local internet infrastructure, which includes also local ISP's and the access price with local internet users are paying. More local content you have; if you have right policy and if you have ISP; the quality of service will be better and the access price will be lower; bit paradoxical, but that is what happens.
We did it with the assumption, two assumptions which are proven to be correct that the majority of consumption of locally is consumption of local content.
And another assumption which we made was that the local traffic always is cheaper than international traffic. So, therefore, I think we need to speak about both simultaneously investment and infrastructure and also stimulation of production of local content.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you. If one last intervention I think, Peter you wanted to say?
PETER MAJOR: Thank you, I just want to follow up on what Mr Karklins said and I want to react to the comments of the Indian lady about the local initiatives. Being on the Dynamic Coalition of Disability, we have a very good UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities which has been signed by 154 countries of the 193.
However if you look at the bottlenecks of the implementation it is mostly the local initiatives and basically, that the heart at the matter. The local initiatives are to be really forced so that to be encouraged. Thank you.
ORY OKOLLOH: And the last, last, you have the honours of making the last intervention; it has been a great session.
CECIL McCAIN: Thank you, I believe that indeed one of the challenges is that the balance between supply and demand and most governments focus on the supply side.
When the government of Jamaica started to focus on the demand side; we found that we needed to deal with a number of issues. Literacy as was found in India; content, and access to financing of SMEs who the, one for the major driving forces to putting content online. And we found that you know, it is in addressing these issues that you would address an issue of sustainable demand. Most countries often pay for internet bandwidth for persons but this is not sustainable demand, we have to generate sustainable demand so that the industry itself can grow. I believe that is what we need to focus on in terms of ensuring that there is a growth of internet usage within our countries.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you very much and with that, I will hand over for the next session to Karen.
KAREN ROSE: Thanks so much Ory and I think this next session is a great follow on from what we have been discussing. We noted in that panel, that in order for infrastructure and for demand to be there, there needs to be content and there needs to be a relevancy for getting that connection.
In this session we will talk about mobile and innovation in particular. And the framing question here is: What does it take to create opportunities and for entrepreneurs; for youth and other developing country stakeholders to participate in mobile innovation and mobile development?
Where are the linkages with local content? What more needs to be done to promote those opportunities from becoming just a mobile phone user; to a mobile data innovator and to start off I would like to turn to Dr Kamel.
TAREK KAMEL: Thank you Karen for giving me this opportunity and before I talk about mobile and innovation, I wanted to share some statistics with the audience, about the overall mobile and internet evolution. According to the ITU numbers, we have over 6 billion mobile users worldwide; 1.5 billion fixed phone users. We have according to the ICANN statistics, over 3 billion IPP; we have 4 (sic) addressees and 200 million domain names and we have over 1 billion mobile users that are using the internet. Or more or less according to that numbers.
In 2015 we are expecting to have 3.5 (sic) mobile users using the internet. One of the fastest growing rates worldwide and the fastest growing industries worldwide.
So if we want to reflect that on the developing countries very specifically and I am going to pick up Africa as an example, ICANN has been recently doing a strategy for Africa or developing a strategy for Africa together with the African Union and the African community and there has been a number of interesting observations that I would like to share with the panel.
The African mobile penetration is to 100% which is more or less the world average. We have around 750 to 800 million mobile African users.
The number of internet users however in Africa are around 150 million, which is something like around 15 to 20% of the overall population and around the 6.5% of the global internet, global internet users. However the number of growth of the mobile internet users in Africa is double digit and is exceeding 40% which is one of the highest growth rates worldwide. In addition to that we have a number of observations. Janis Karklins has mentioned one of them that are clearly consumer shifts in Africa. The mobile internet has exceeded the fixed internet by far. We have for the first time as well that the user is generating his own content and in addition to that; that the growing traffic in data has, and video has exceeded for the first time the growing rates in traffic in and in voice. What does this mean? That we are now being confronted with a new platform of mobile connectivity in Africa that is enabling the economy and this is enabling social economic growth.
But we need to take it to the next level. It is not only just basic connectivity and it is not just basic access. We need to take it to the next level that it really fosters innovation and contributes to the overall GDP growth in the Africa nations. There are wonderful examples for applications in e commerce, in Africa and Kenya and in other parts of Africa but I would like to tackle a very important issues which is related to the development of the logical infrastructure on top of this physical infrastructure. We talked about content but between the layers of content and the physical infrastructure we have a missing layer which is enabling of the domain name industry. This is where we want to focus within the next couple of years, specifically to empower young entrepreneurs and to empower innovation and to empower incubators and the establishment of incubators for start ups to enable the domain name industry, because it is one of the driver for content development as has been mentioned. We need to build on the success that we have witnessed in the African continent and in any parts and in other parts of the world from a developing countries perspective and the develop the next layer really that enables entrepreneurship and enables innovation and I think we have a wonderful opportunity to do that in Africa and outside Africa.
The next billion internet users are definitely coming from the developing countries and it is estimated that within the next 20 years we will add another 4 to 5 billion internet users; probably most of them coming from the developing countries.
The population in our part of the world is a young population and 60 per cent of the population are under the age of 30 years which gives another opportunity for innovation and for driving innovation for us. I think we need to be working together on a road map for building on the success that happened in the mobile industry, specifically in Africa and in the developing countries adding the next layer that would foster content development and specifically multi lingual content development, realise that mobile internet advances economy through innovation and it provides a wonderful global launchpad for ideas that will really generate tomorrow's great economic opportunities
MS ROSE: Dr Kamel, I think that is
DR KAMEL: with the power of creative thought and risk taking and never innovation has really had a fertile field to grow like it has now through the mobile industry simply because it ubiquitous and it is borderless so we have a wonderful opportunity really to mesh the young population in the world in a new innovative form using the new innovative platform that really enables the risk taking young entrepreneurs from all over the world to come together and we need to provide them with the opportunities and not to marginalise them from the developing countries. Thank you.
MS ROSE: Thank you Dr Kamel. I think your comment were a wonderful segue to Dr Ndemo.
De Ndemo, Kenya has been put forward, lauded, focused on, for the innovation it has had particularly in the mobile area, the development of iHubs, the development of the industry of mobile applications for youth, for entrepreneurs.
I am wondering if you could tell a little bit about what is going on in Kenya and what the government is doing and what the government is thinking about promoting opportunities for entrepreneurs and youth with mobile technology.
DR NDEMO: Thank you. I will go straight to the answer. The secret in Kenya is that the government has provided open government data which has enabled the youth to create many applications that are coming up.
We are beginning to incubate some of this new start ups, we are looking while away to find investors to come and partner with these young start ups and to grow them and then we are creating an eco system that would ensure that we continuously get into innovation.
The secret for any government to succeed you must provide the ingredients for innovation. That is data. That is how we are able to get into, like, agriculture where we are trying to digitise data; healthcare where we are digitising data there to create the applications; the financial sector; the government itself.
There is no secret. It is just open the data, the youth will do the rest. That is what Kenya is doing. Thank you.
MS ROSE: Thanks, Dr Ndemo. I would like to turn to Mr Babu. Your area is in open source, open platforms.
How does open source and open platform technology merge with mobile to provide opportunities for entrepreneurship and the growth of content.
MR BABU: Thank you. First of all, the digital opportunity that the mobile platforms represent open up a very large area especially for micro enterprises and micro entrepreneurs because the people that you are talking about are at the grassroots, at the edge.
What is really opening up is a mobile marketplace, a market place that is at the grass roots. It about local content, it is about local language content as well.
One of the factors that has put in shil to implement the development of such a large market place with micro enterprises is open source.
As we see today, the most innovative, some of the largest numbers of innovation as well the innovations with the maximum outreach is actually happening on the open platforms. Currently, as an example, Android is leading the fray.
We have an extraordinarily kind of mind boggling number of innovations that are happening and mostly by the young people. Since it is open zone, since there are no barriers, since the platforms are open, since there is a community that offers support for the development process, since there is also a group of people that we can borrow ideas from, this whole ideation process, the refinement of ideas, the open source paradigm actually makes all these processes much more simple and more viable.
In particular, the technologies used are open source. There are no barriers either of price or of licensing that prevent you from experimenting. Innovation happens through experimentation, so from that perspective I think open source is definitely one of the very major contributing factors to the emerging digital opportunities and the market place itself. Thank you.
MS ROSE: Thanks, with that I am wondering if, Jackie Ruff, you have any thoughts or comments base on what has been said by our panelists.
MS RUFF: Sure. I would like to tie together two trends that we have been discussing here. One is the huge expansion of mobile high speed internet because we really are in a new phase where there is a technology, LTE, long term evolution that it is called, that is being adopted around the world and allows for very high speed high quality mobile broadband and obviously in the developing world that is going to be the future.
You combine that with what was mentioned earlier on, Cloud services, you've got the high speed right here on your desk, in your lap, whatever, and then you have the ability to have the content and many of the functionalities elsewhere so you don't have to have, if you're a small business, that huge set of hardware in your own office. A lot of things can happen elsewhere.
I think that this is key to innovation for so many of the different groups that we've talked about because you can immediately get innovative services that are available in a way they've never been before and then use those services to further create innovation.
The final thought on all of that is to ask the question what is the policy environment? Now, on Cloud services there are a lot of things that are new about them but in many ways they are similar to global services that we have had all along.
We need to make a careful look at do we need new rules? Maybe some but maybe not very many, in order to allow this innovative combination to really flourish and look at that very, very carefully. There is a lot of thinking being discussed even here at this conference so we're in the midst of all this. Thank you.
MS ROSE: We will open the floor up to questions in a moment but I would like to ask Cecil McCain if you can provide observations on the issue from your part of the world.
MR MCCAIN: Thank you very much, Karen. Certainly the experience of Kenya is notable. In the Caribbean certainly this has been a challenge. We have had internet penetrations of over 100 per cent for the last five years throughout the Caribbean, yet the mobile use in terms of data has been very slow.
Certainly access to open data and applications, open source applications, would certainly help to drive the development of innovation within that context.
One of the challenges of course being in the western part of the world is that Cloud services which are available in our part of the world does come with a cost and so it is difficult for the youth to invest in terms of doing experimentation to create services, to create applications through Cloud services. Similarly, for small businesses it is difficult because there is a cost component which would not normally have been there so we would have to look at the cost context to determine how can we find that balance in terms to make it cost effective to put your services on line, to access your services on line, to access your information on line.
Certainly we are going to need to develop on the open content aspect of things and we believe throughout the Caribbean as recently there has been a lot of apps development competitions which are driving not just the youth but persons from within the communities to develop local content, local applications, local services to be delivered over the internet but, more importantly, over mobile phones and I believe that is where we need to focus our attention in terms of driving development of innovation and mobile services. We need to focus on that aspect of things. Thank you.
MS ROSE: I would like to open the floor to questions and while people are coming up, Janis, you wanted to respond.
MR KARKLINS: Actually I wanted to add one dimension in this discussion and suggest that mobile technology and I am not speaking exclusively about mobile phones but also I mean all mobile devices has a great potential in delivery of education services.
In UNESCO we are now working, first of all, to understand how mobile technologies could be better used in the education process to understand and stimulate the use for mobile technologies in education.
We also think that mobile technologies could be a very good tool to address literacy issues. Unfortunately, still today we have about 10 per cent of the population in the world, around 775 million, which are illiterate. 46 per cent of them are women and girls who live in areas sub Saharan Africa and Asia.
These are areas where fixed internet infrastructure is not present and mobile technology could be used to reach out those women and girls and illiterate people and provide them basic literacy training.
UNESCO launched last year the mobile phone literacy programme for empowering women and girls.
Annually we are holding the mobile literacy week at UNESCO and next year it will take place a week before the Business Review Conference in Paris. It will be mid February 2013. Thank you.
MS ROSE: I think we have a question from our remote participants.
RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Karen. In fact, we have the lead discussion, remote discussion, Ermanno Pietrosemoli who wants to share by voice his comments.
ERMANNO PIETROSEMOLI: Can you hear me? Can you hear me?
MS ROSE: Yes.
ERMANNO PIETROSEMOLI: Yes, I am interested in the topic about access. Despite all the advances that have been made in providing fibre optic (inaudible) of Africa and other continents as well, there is still a lack of penetration throughout the area and in many instances the rate of return is just not there to pick the provider for the services in (inaudible) areas, in rural areas.
I think that there is room for alternative technologies that are much more cost effective and that can be the (inaudible) organisation in a local communities and in this I want to call attention to the fact that there have been instances of this low cost wireless communication, data communication, not just for voice but to support the kind of services for education and health (inaudible) in rural area. If you want to develop those areas in part with (inaudible) have already these kind of services.
MS ROSE: Thank you.
ERMANNO PIETROSEMOLI: I think there is an opportunity
MS ROSE: Thank you for the comment. Do you have more on your comment?
ERMANNO PIETROSEMOLI: Yes. I would also like to talk about the possibility of using a spectrum that is currently useful actually for looking for different systems that can be also used for the way we (inaudible) other areas in which those channels are not really being used. So these are the two things I want to talk about and call attention about that are ways to provide connectivity in (inaudible) in these populated areas, thank you.
MS ROSE: Thank you very much. We have a question another question from the floor and we will ask our panellists to respond to what they have heard.
Go ahead, please.
NATALIA ENCISO: My name is Natalia Enciso. I am ISOC Ambassador and I am speaking from my capacity. In many developing countries the primary means of access is mobile phones. For example, in Paraguay the mobile penetration is higher than internet penetration but should we accept internet access from mobile phone sufficient? Should developing countries be demanding more? Thank you.
MS ROSE: Okay, one more question and then we will turn back to our panellists for responses.
MS ARIDA: Okay, it is more of a reflection my name is Christine Arida and I am from the National Telecom Regulator in Egypt and I also represent the Arab IGF Secretariat.
I would like to welcome the comments that were made by Dr Tarek Kamel regarding the development of the domain name industry in developing countries and I just want to make a reflection that this was actually thoroughly discussed in our Arab IGF meeting last month and participants to the Arab IGF meeting have expressed a call to all international partners, such as ICANN and others, to actually work hand in hand with the community in the Arab region to develop this industry as actually a catalyst for developing the content industry. Thank you.
MS ROSE: Thank you so much, we would like to keep this part of the Panel focussed on mobile in particular. We had a lot of really interesting comments. They ranged from regulatory issues and possible technical issues about using unused spectrum, using mobile to get to rural and remote communities, as well one of the key question of, you know, is mobile access enough?
In the previous section the report out from the libraries workshop noted that sometimes you need to print, sometimes you need a computer. Should we be satisfied with just mobile phone access for data, so I will turn to Dr Kamel briefly, please. Thank you.
MR KAMEL: Thank you. Just two reflections about the comments from the floor as well as from the remote participation. The question from Paraguay asking whether we would be satisfied with mobile access for internet utilisation. I think the answer is probably yes.
As it has been mentioned before in the Panel, the technology is getting very advanced. LTE is providing today the mobile users with high speed access. We have to have the right policies from a spectrum allocation point of view in order really to make sure that the evolution of mobile internet happens on a wider scale, specifically in sub Saharan Africa and many part of the developing countries.
Honestly, we don't have another choice because starting to lay fibres and starting to lay extensive infrastructure is going to be very difficult.
The second reflection that I want to talk about from the remote participation: return on investment for the infrastructure. Yes, indeed the developing countries are having a challenge, a global challenge, for the return on investment on broadband connectivity whether mobile or fixed. As it has been mentioned in the last segment of our conversation.
It is becoming a global policy issue that the world really is addressing those days and this can only happen via fostering investment in value added services and content services and trying really to foster innovation in this direction. That is the only solution.
MS ROSE: Thanks.
DR NDEMO: Thank you, I want to respond to the question on use of new technologies to cover areas, especially in Africa where we have not been able to cover.
There is a point I want to make that it is not that Africans cannot afford broadband, even in the rural areas. What has been lacking is local content that is relevant to their needs and government has a role to play in this.
People need services in government and they are not able to access them. They spend so much money to go accessing these services. Some of them can actually be offered through on line services.
This is where government in Africa must begin to automate, put most of the records into digital format. You would be able to get sufficient demand, sufficient demand to enable the kind of returns where we are talking we.
We cannot be talking about the returns without creating the demand and accessing internet through mobile, I would say it is not sufficient. If you see what we are doing in Kenya, even where we want to cover with LTE you must have backhaul through fibre optics to most of the base stations so that you can have the robustness in the last mile.
Then the neighbouring countries, especially the land locked countries, we don't see any borders, especially the East African broadband network, which goes into other countries. These are some of the arrangements that can be made but, more important, we must focus on creating content that is relevant to the people.
There will be resources because rural people spend millions of dollars trying to access government services.
The other point I want to, the last point I want to add here that we have been talking to software providers to change their business models especially those that have ARPs, we are asking them use the Cloud so that SMEs can afford accessing this kind of software and offer the service that are necessary.
This has paid very well. These are some of the techniques we must use. We must constantly work on the demand side as we have done with supply side of broadband. Thank you.
MS ROSE: I know Satish wants to make an intervention as well as Cecil but very, very briefly, one last comment pretty brief, please, from the floor and we will take that with the last two panellist responses.
MR AJWANI: Thank you, Rose, my name is Naresh Ajwani. I am President of CCAOI. While I appreciate Mr Karklins referring about illiteracy as a challenge I wonder how phones can help because I personally feel for illiteracy you need an assistance and assistance cannot be facilitated through the phones. It can be only through a public internet cross.
Somewhere we all understand and acknowledge that some kind of an intervention is taking place where even the libraries are closing down and public internet crosses are closing down and we really cannot reach to that kind of a segment at the bottom of (inaudible) without the help of public (inaudible) costs .
My request would be if the panellists can really make me understand what are the plans in that regard. Thank you.
MS ROSE: Cecil, go ahead. Why don't you take that.
MR MCCAIN: In a way, the comment I was going to be making, the comment just made takes me directly onto it which is one of the things that governments must do is that they must create a regulator framework and foster development of appropriate data sharing and authentification platforms which will foster innovation in mobile technology.
Yes, you have to go to libraries to print as it is but it does not mean that you cannot transfer information securely over mobile services and so these are some of the types of things that we need to focus on in ensuring that our peoples, our citizens, are able to seamlessly transact business in a secure environment, minimal need to access additional resources such as printing services, et cetera, because you can actually spend money on line, you can actually exchange money on line using mobile phone, et cetera, et cetera.
We need to ensure that the governments themselves need to ensure that that regulatory framework is in place and that there are investments as well to foster the data sharing platforms that are going to facilitate and ensure that when the libraries close down people can still exchange information using mobile services without having to go and print things.
MR BABU: Thank you, I have two quick points. The first is about the point raised by the remote participant about local networking. This is obviously quite useful in places where the terrain is very distributed but there is another use for this which is very important and I think it should be flagged and this is for the use in disaster situations when the conventional mobile communication towers have failed or broken down.
These are very simple and easy to kind of set up and to kind of use so these are clearly used for disaster situations.
The second is regarding entry devices, network entry devices, the debate is on mobile phones but the definition of a mobile phone is a bit broader than just a hand phone. A mobile device is anything, for example, a pad. A pad is something far more useful approaching in terms of computational power to a laptop or even better than that probably. It can be used in a variety of situations, ranging from a fishing boat to a back country farm where the laptop cannot be used.
If in a micro credit group 15 women are sitting under a tree and they are having a meeting. You cannot use a desktop machine there but a pad is quite appropriate for that context. What I am saying is the entry devices of the network are changing and we have to take note of the fact we are not talking only about hand phones but a variety of other devices that are coming in.
MS ROSE: Thanks for that. I think that brings us into a nice segue to our next section, which is on empowerment. In the mobile and innovation are we touched on issues of e education, e health, government services, how to bring things to people in the rural and remote areas and I will turn it over to Ory to take us through the human empowerment section.
MS OKOLLOH: Thanks, Karen. I have taken bit of privilege as moderator to change the question around a little bit.
I think the theme was around how women can be empowered and as a woman in tech who has had a pretty successful run in the last five to six years in technology, it is an area that is very dear to me. Certainly, I've found technology to be very empowering for me as a woman and particularly an African woman. I don't think I could have had the career I have had in any other field except for technology.
I would like us to address this question from a broader view from how can whether the opportunities, because there are opportunities, in terms of making internet access more inclusive and how can communities I think we will address language later on just would like to focus on women and on the disabled in this particular session.
One is around there are opportunities, you think about things, technologies like Siri and voice search and all of that that address perhaps people with challenges and you think about things like mobile money and the role it can play for women and small owned businesses which are usually run by women.
There are opportunity on the one hand but there are challenges in terms of their participation, in terms of being harassed on line. I would like to tackle those two: what are the opportunity for being more inclusive and what are the challenges, what are the barriers around making the internet more diverse.
Jac, if I might start with you first.
JAC SM KEE: I think going back to the initial framing of the question it also mentioned empowerment. I think when we talk about empowerment what we really mean is how can access to the internet help women realise the full range of their rights how can it help them really exercise the broad range of their rights and why talk about women.
I think earlier I'm really appreciative of Janis to bring up the gap, you know, the issue around literacy and the issue around two thirds of the world population of illiterate adults are made up of women. I think literacy is as big issue in terms of access to the internet in the first place and access is multi faceted.
Sorry, I am tripping over many, many points but I think I will refocus by addressing the question that I actually really wanted to respond to, which was raised about mobile phones and the literacy.
There is a project that started in 2004 in Bangladesh called the Mobile Ladies by dNet and basically what they did is they gave working mobile phones to about, I think, 60 women and trained them on how to use the mobile phone and how to use the mobile phone in order to access information and then they went from door to door in rural community to ask women, "Okay, what are the information that you need and is there anything that I can help you with", and then they became sort of like the node, the bridge in which to help women who were illiterate, who couldn't read, who couldn't know how to use the mobile phone to actually access information that is relevant to them and became their kind of like facilitator and enabler of information.
In that sense, it really empowered the women who needed the information as well as the women who were providing the information because it became a source of income as well.
I think in this sense what has been missing in the conversation this morning when we are looking at access as an issue, is that we really looked at we looked at the infrastructure level, which is very important. We looked at the economic level, which is also very important but what we failed to look at is the kind of like the social economic level, which is actually very key in thinking about ensuring access, because really who is using this and what is it for? It is for people. It is for communities and how is this relevant to them?
When we look at women and girls, unfortunately, I think in the previous session two days ago I think it was Teresa Swinehart who said unfortunately it is still a matter of conversation to talk about women and technology. We haven't arrived at a point where it is no longer a conversational point.
There are a gender gap in terms of access all over the world. This gap is much bigger in developing countries with low internet penetration, for example, in Azerbaijan 25 per cent of women have access as compared to men.
This is really an issue and we need to understand why this is we know this is a reality that we have to contend with and deal with when we think about ensuring access for all.
There are several different layers to this. One is around the cost. When we talk about cost, we need to talk about income and earning power of women and the majority of women all over the world what this means and whether, you know and the issue of the lack of control and access to resources and how this also translates into the ability to control and access technology and the benefits of technology.
Then we also need to think about issues like literacy which we talked of before and also education in science and technology, engineering, mathematics and why this is still a problem, how is it that we can encourage more girls in order to take up this aspect of education. A lot of this is actually around social, cultural ways of raising girls and boys differently.
You know, we encourage boys to go and experiment and play with technology and tell girls, "No, don't touch it. It might break". This sort of like translates into low numbers in tertiary level, which translates into low numbers of women who take up research in science and technology, which translates into an agenda setting which doesn't improve the perspectives and realities of women, which translates into decision making and has little bit of a gender gap and blindness, which translates into basically unequal access on this level.
I think it is quite a complex issue with many dimensions but we really need to look at it from a holistic way and to help us in this I think if you look at it from a right framework then make sure we don't miss anything out in the process.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you, for a great intervention and reminding us the important question of what is this all about and it is about people and I think that was an intervention, also the last gentleman who spoke on the floor trying to bring us back to the human element and how that fits in all of the conversations we are having.
Peter, if you might share your perspectives.
MR MAJOR: Thank you. Just to continue on the human aspects, I just want to share one experience I had coming back from the ICANN meeting. I happened to sit next to a lady, a certified nurse of about 75 years of age, who was extremely cultivated and all of a sudden she told me, "I gave back my mobile phone. I don't use it anymore. It's too complicated. I can't get on with that", so I was shocked.
I was really shocked. Being the co co ordinator of the exhibit on disability, I have been involved in issues related to disabilities and this was an example of age related disability.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have good news and bad news for you, life expectancy is increasing. We are going to live longer. The bad news that we are ageing and as we are ageing we are going to have these disabilities, so they are about 1 billion people living with disabilities on the earth and this number is going to increase.
We have a beautiful convention of the rights of people with disabilities which has been signed, as I said, by 154 countries and ratified by 125 countries and the number of people with disabilities can feel we something of this effect but probably not much.
We have a beautiful convention, we beautiful standards, some standards are being implemented they are very good initiatives and probably, as I said, the bottleneck is on the local level.
Another aspect of this question is the economic aspect. There were studies from the International Labour Organisation showing that the disabled people are most likely to be unemployed than able people. The drop out rate is much higher from the workforce, so we should do something about it and the loss in the GDP has been shown that it varies between 3 to 6 per cent of the GDP which is enormous money due to disabled people not being able to be on the market. There are lot of actions to be done and I am always for actions.
Just to follow on, ICTs are very good tools to enable people, that is to empower disabled people but provided we overcome the barriers. What are the barriers? If you think about visually impaired people or hard of hearing people and other disabled people, probably you can imagine that websites which are inaccessible for blind people are barriers.
Even though we have standard for websites and even if you think about the mobile applications are still full of barriers and I can carry on with this list. People who are participating remotely and don't have capture facilities can't really follow it.
There is room for improvement naturally and, basically, I would really like to consider this aspect, as I said, at the beginning the bad news is that we are going to age as well and give you the incapacity as well. Thank you.
MS OKOLLOH: I am going to call on you Jac to response but if I can come back to you and bring a bit down to a more micro I know it is a challenge and you have pointed throughout the whole cycle from how the girls are raised to education but there are one or two things similar examples to what is happening in Bangladesh that are working that are practical that we need to do more of from your experience.
JAC SM KEE: One of the things that we have realised works really well is actually small grants initiative. So sort of like having small grants and giving it to opportunity in order to set up internet or more like information access point in different communities, so we've done this in parts of Africa and the Caribbean.
We've tried to facilitate this process and we found that actually what happens is there's a lot of consultation with local communities on what do you need? What is this centre for? How then can we make sure that we have the kind of infrastructure and technology that is meaningful to you, that you can access and who are the people even from the level of who is the person who is going to stand there at the opening hour because it is about mobility issues it's about safety issues also like about multiple for women anyway it is about multiple responsibilities that you have to take care of, so I think small grant is something that we can it is also a really wonderful multi stakeholder initiative that we can think of and develop and support more, you know, how can private sector support this together with the right regulatory policy enabling environment and working together with civil society groups and local communities trying to empower them through this method.
MS OKOLLOH: Jackie, did you have any comment?
MS RUFF: With such terrific comments already I am trying to figure what I can do to add value here. I think the point about what can industry do to partner with these kind of things is very important and let me give you a few examples of the kinds of things Horizon or doing and others are doing, I'm sure many here and in your own communities.
We do focus a lot of technological literacy and we have done that in the US and globally, even working with UNESCO on something like that.
We do education, science, technology, engineering and maths a lot of support for that.
We recycle our mobile phones to be used by community organisations for those who may be victims of family violence or who would otherwise not have phones so that they can call if they are in a bad situation.
We have a consumer advisory board we call it which would be representatives from the disabled and other communities that really give us advice on how to make our products and services accessible.
So those are some of the kinds of things. I've heard many, many stories of the kind of local community project using even the simplest of mobile phones all the way to the most complex of tablets to deal with healthcare issues, for example, women during pregnancy being able to be in touch with their doctors just through texting and knowing when to get where if they need more help.
I think there are a number of things that are very interesting and more we should do.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you. Now before we take questions from the floor and remote participants, Ayesha , if you could represent the report back from workshop 91, please.
MS HASSAN: Thank you, ICC Basis , APC and government of Kenya partnered this year to organise a workshop on technology, economic and societal opportunities for women so this is a feeder workshop for this main session.
We had a dynamic group of speakers and a very interesting group of participants. The workshop was moderated by Erica Mann from Facebook and we had a really good 90 minutes to add to what Jac and Jackie have just said, especially we were focussing on what does it take then to get women to have access and we identified three areas. One was, first of all, the infrastructure, the access issues need to be addressed so they need to have access and the policy and regulatory environment issues that make that happen.
We also looked at the education and skills building elements that empower women to get on line. There was a good discussion about some of the concrete studies that are out there and initiatives by the private sector by civil society organisations, especially Giganet in Kenya was discussed.
We also focused a bit on some of the cyber crime and violence issues that are connected with the on line world and how sometimes that can force women to stay offline. How do you empower them to protect themselves on line? What are the capacity building and educational elements of that, both for women and girls?
There was some dynamic discussion about specific cases of violence that involved the internet and women and I think that it was a good opportunity for some of the participants to share their concerns, things that have happened to them or their colleagues in country and also to have some responsiveness from other participants in the workshop. I thought that was good. It was there was a real interaction and I think people felt like they got to share some of their challenging experiences.
We also looked at how social and cultural norms are a barrier to empowering women or women's access, the whole aspect of encouraging girls to enroll in stem studies, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The European Commission discussed some of their initiatives to promote women's enrolment girls enrolment in those issue areas.
In conclusion, we thought that this 90 minute discussion was something to be built on again next year and that these issues continue to be focused on at the IGF and the connection between the on line and offline world when we are addressing the legal policy and regulatory environment issues were something that we should deepen our understanding of. Thank you.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you. Now I will open it up to questions from the floor and we will start with the remote participants and then I will get to you.
CLAUDIA SELLI: Thanks Ory. In fact, we do have a discussion Sheba Mohamed from Trinidad and Tobago and then a question from Paraguay.
Sheba's question has already been somehow addressed by both Jackies but I believe it is a recurrent theme that should be brought to the floor. I would like to take discussion more in depth regarding how we can get more women using the internet to participate more fully and have their voices heard, especially in rural and marginalised areas.
In my experience she basically experienced working with a vulnerable community in Trinidad and Tobago. Access was only one dimension. The infusion of practical ICT skills was a key component of building both competency and confidence. We had significantly more women subscribers to the mobile ICT training unit posted there but there was a co ordinated effort to engage the women in the community on the grass roots level.
Are there other experiences and I believe Jac brought one of them but are there other experiences to share that help women who have been marginalised to effectively participate? That is one of the questions. Can I take the second one?
MS OKOLLOH: Yes, I'd actually like to take two three questions at a time so the second one and the gentleman you can ask a question as well when she is done.
CLAUDIA SELLI: So we have Yeny Villabla from Paraguay and she is asking that there are places in which Social Services do not reach the minimum satisfactory level to respond to the protection of women rights. How can we foster public policy to give more attention to women rights?
There is no governmental reach or development of capacities to give an answer to women rights.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you. If you may ask your question. You have to go to the mic there. Is there a mic there.
MR ZAHRA: Shadi Abou Zahra, I work with the Web Accessibility Initiative of the Worldwide Web Consortium and to respond to Peter so the good news actually, it is good news that we are all ageing and the good news is that there are accessibility standards to address the needs of people with disabilities and including age related requirements.
What I wanted to talk about is we are talking about access. We're also talking about what content is delivered to engage the people but what we didn't really talk about also is how the content is delivered and mobile devices and mobile services are very important for people with disabilities as is access to the internet because mobile technology and the internet as a whole provides an equal level playing field for people with disabilities to actually be able to contribute to society in a way that they are not able to in the physical society.
I just wanted to point out that issue as well as how the content is delivered to include that in the policies. It needs to be designed in a way that it can be used by people with disabilities including age related requirements.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you for that.
PRIYA MAHAJAN: My name is Priya and I am representing the Internet Service Providers Association of India. I would like just to underscore a few point that the panellists have made today about how internet is empowering the lives of ordinary people and what impact it is making to their lives.
Just a small, you know, instance from what India is doing. A lot of initiatives are being undertaken. In India, basically there is a project called Unique Identification Authority of India where our 1.2 billion citizens in India are going to be provided with a unique identity and how internet is being used as an empowerment tool to provide access to link the social security benefit schemes to the bank accounts.
I think that goes to the point that Jackie made today about whether we have the right policy framework and environment which would foster and flourish internet in the world. I think I would agree with the Panel and the interesting discussion so far has been very enriching for us. Thank you.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you for that. If I might give the Panel an opportunity to respond, I think I will start off with the Chair who had a few comments she wanted to make.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I have comments on the report participants. It is a very useful and very important issue that they raise here. Thank you very much.
For my opinion, what is the main I would say salvation of this issue to work with the civil society organisations because civil society organisations can reach that rural woman, that rural part that woman cannot reach or they cannot any access of internet.
For example, if government can't reach some regions but civil society can go and do, for example, town hall meetings, seminar trainings on IT, so they can go bilateral or face to face discussions to the women and only, for example, to five year, or maybe less or more, will have any I think big results on this.
What we should do, we should be more active in the rural part of the regions where women have no access to the internet and they did not know how to use this on the trainings, giving you information and also to go discussions face by face. So civil society is playing a main role on this issue. Thank you very much.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you for that. If I might come back I think there was a recurring question of that was raised by shibol that we touched on a bit but also the question from Paraguay on examples around reaching marginalise women and also on the protection of women's rights.
Jac, if I can come back to you and can you share additional experiences or just your thoughts on those two.
JAC SM KEE: I'm really glad that this question is raised because not all women are the same. I mean, we are also all in our diversity and I am glad that another issue of (inaudible) there is degrees of marginalisation and it is also complex and shifting.
I think one of the most important things that we need to do in terms of looking at marginalised women and technology and empowerment is not to further marginalise already marginalised women by approaching this through a protectionist framework. So we must not think of women just as passive beneficiaries who are there that we need to somehow protect. I think sometimes we can fall into this especially when we worry and bring up issues around risks and dangers and security and safety.
What is more important and really the way that we need to ground all approaches is how the question is how can we give technology in the hands of women, not as passive beneficiaries but as active users, refiners, shapers and innovation of internet technologies and content and understanding what technology is meant to be, even the imagination of it.
This needs to happen at all levels. When we think about marginalised women, we need to think not just in terms of urban rural before and we have but diverse sexualities, with different abilities and disabilities, who work in different kinds of employment, who could be more at risk. For example, migrant domestic workers and how they have really banded together on the simple tool of mobile phones to provide support to each other in different countries, for example. That is really, really useful kind of model to kind of think of, okay, so this is how women have taken up technology, used it their context, in their environment to address very real needs for social support and safety.
MS OKOLLOH: Then one last intervention, Cecil. The question of policy I think was also quite strong. There was an intervention from India. That is a bit of an ambush but can you speak from the government perspective just what role policy makers we have talked about sort of being underground, the role of civil society, I would like to hear your view given your role particularly with the USF in your country. What interventions can be made on the policy side?
MR MCCAIN: Certainly. It is important that Government makes appropriate interventions to foster empowerment and so on as it relates to accessibility issues. What we did in the government of Jamaica was that we created a web standard which had all the accessibility options built in but one of the things that we need to focus on and to go beyond that, you know, government is a major buyer of services, be it ICT goods and services and so on and when we buy ICT services from private sector and so on, we need to ensure that their systems as well are compliant with government systems. So we need to create some form of guidelines and standards to say to persons, "If you want to do business with government, these are the standards you must adopt in your transactions to ensure that persons with disabilities, et cetera, are not disenfranchised, persons who are elderly are not disenfranchised by the services you offer". This is one of the things that governments can do to act as a push to ensure that not just governments but also the private sector also creates an environment to ensure that ICTs themselves are accessible to all.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you for that. Then I think the last question, in the interests of inclusiveness and accessibility, we have a question from a remote participant.
MS GATTO: Yes, we do. We are putting on Gerry Ellis, a blind remote participant, who wants to share a comment. Let us see if we can hear him. Hi Gerry?
GERRY ELLIS: Hello, this is Gerry.
MS GATTO: Sorry, for misspelling. We are hearing you. Please go ahead.
GERRY ELLIS: My comment was really about the partnership and the video lab from Kenya that connect Africa and I am unhappy about the kind of discussions that are going on. I was going to speak about this, the participation between the governments and the private sector, if there would be a way to really merge the two and make sure they work together because most of the time we find that the private sector are the ones who are really pushing and working hard to reach out to the people, especially the marginalised, thereby pushing the governments. When the government sees that we need to reach out like the private sector, they kind of come in late; so encouraging organisation so that there is more synergy between the government and the private sector to work together. Thank you.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you for your comments. Thank you very much. With that, I think we will move over to the next session. It is quite an intense agenda that we have here so we have to keep it moving. The discussions have been very interesting this morning and I now hand it over to Karen.
MS ROSE: Thanks, Ory.
Indeed, our next topic is on the free flow of information. As we know, fundamentally the internet facilitates the flow and creation of information all across the world. The free flow of information and its relationship to human rights and the internet is an issue that is increasingly becoming more of a focal point.
To go over these issues, I would like to ask the panellists what they see as the policy challenges around the free flow of information, freedom of expression and Human Rights and the internet as they relate to access. I will start with Janis Karklins, please.
MR KARKLINS: Thank you, Karen. I think that the departing point of this discussion about freedoms on the internet should be the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. When we are talking about the real world, the system which we know since the 17th century if I'm not mistaken, the Westphalian system, where governments reign within the national borders and are considered sovereign subjects of international law. Governments in national States regulate and identify or regulate and implement the principles which are agreed in international law.
When it comes to internet with its broader nature, that becomes very complicated. Governments are confronted with the situation that they are not anymore fully in charge of regulation of implementation of those international treaties and implementation of agreed principles because it is very easy to agree on the level of principles and a very good example is a principle of no right of one should impinge the rights of others.
So we are in agreement. We are in agreement on free flow of information, we are in agreement on freedom of expression as a principle but when it comes to implementation, the level of implementation in different countries is very different.
That is the policy challenge. We see that there are differences in legal frameworks, there are discrepancies between laws in different countries, there are differences in national and international jurisdictions.
New dimensions also have appeared in this discussion and in this balancing process and that is how to address issues contradicting issues of freedom of expression, privacy, national security, intellectual property and how to balance all these issues in comparison or in ensuring freedom of expression.
We observed that there are different policy approaches to regulate access. We see countries where access to internet is very free, unlimited. We see that there are limitations to access to internet in a number of countries. Some of them for the reason of the limited infrastructure and technical problems but in some countries this is a deliberate policy not to develop access to internet simply because that would open the door to access to information and potentially would escape from governmental control.
I think that for all of us it very important to note that earlier this year the Human Rights Council adopted resolution on freedoms of internet where governments agreed that the same principles of freedom of expression which are applicable to the real world should apply also to the virtual world. I think that this is a very important decision which has been made by the Human Rights Council and that will help us in our advocacy work to ensure and promote freedom of expression, free flow of information.
Maybe one final point relates to criminalisation, or rather decriminalisation, of defamation. I think we should be very firm in our advocacy that no speech should be criminalised. People should be responsible with what they are saying but people should not be judged according to criminal law for their opinion and their expression. I think that this is another element of what UNESCO is working on advocating among Member States, to decriminalise defamation and put it under civil law.
MS ROSE: Thanks Janis. In reflecting on Janis's intervention, one of the comments that he made was about the adoption of the resolution of the freedom of internet and indicating that rights that apply in the real world should also apply in the on line world.
Jac, a lot of your work has been done around media, done around vulnerable communities and done around oppressed communities. I'm wondering if you could tell a little bit about how you have seen challenges to the free flow of information and the free flow of expression on line with those communities in the context of your work.
JAC SM KEE: I think if this was mentioned earlier by Ayesha but one of the major barriers to access is violence against humans that happens on line and this is something that is not really defined. We know that it's happening and happening more and more in terms of cyber harassment, in terms of taking private photographs and using it as methods of blackmailing or in order to kind of discredit people and to use issues of shame and morality so that they will stop talking about certain things and they will stop being active in certain spaces.
I think this issue we're seeing it's happening more and more and we are really trying very hard to first understand the different dimensions of it, who is experiencing it, what does it entail, in what spaces, in what forms of harm, so that we are able to also then recommend what needs to be done around this in a way that because it's complicated. We really want to encourage more women and girls to be able to use the internet to tell their story, to really share their realities and that is one of the amazing powers of the Internet.
But at the same time, because of the violence that happens, we also need to make sure that there is adequate redress to deal with this situation so that it doesn't continue to become a barrier, but how then do we ensure that adequate redress doesn't also translate into further censorship of speech and to make this delicate balance.
I think the way to really approach this we always fall back on it really needs to be a Human Rights approach. This is the only way that we can really balance competing interests in a way that doesn't fall back into a very protectionist framework but unfortunately takes away rights rather than not. That is one aspect of it.
On the other aspect, we also do a lot of work with people of sexual diversities (so, for example, lesbians, gays, transgender and so on) and for them the internet is such a critical space in order to be able to find communities, to find information that's not available elsewhere, to be able to connect to other people, information around health and so on and so forth.
One of the real challenges that they faced in terms of this issue is that the first step that governments take and also private sector, I suppose in censorship and in limiting access to free flow of information is around censorship and regulation of sexual content and this is usually couched under the framework of pornography but what this means, how it is defined sometimes is very loose and very broad.
I will you an example: in Indonesia recently, lesbian, gay and bisexual website around sorry, there's a website by LGBT organisation (LGBT meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and it talks about rights issues and it was blocked and banned under the anti pornography law.
Then sexual rights falls into this framework of pornography and harm when actually it is not necessarily the case and maybe that is not even the intention, but when we don't talk about it, when we don't really look at these kinds of expressions as political expressions or as an expression that is really necessary for the realisation of rights, then we turn to sort of also not address it in some of our conversations around balancing of different rights and interests as Janis was talking about earlier.
One last point that I would like to raise is also the importance of, I think, Internet intermediaries, people like Facebook and Google, who provide a lot of services and which is a platform that is relied upon by many people on line for different kinds of expression, including political expression. I think there is a need to also reflect, okay, how do we deal with expressions that somehow fall into either the sexuality framework or the cultural framework and try very hard not to err on too much of a side of a caution because that can be a very important aspect of defending for women's Human Rights or defending for sexual rights.
I think will stop there for now. Thanks.
MS ROSE: Thanks so much for that. Satish, what is the relationship here with open source software, open information and the free flow of information and freedom of expression? Is there a nexus there, is there a tie there and is there a threat to open source software, open source models, in the context of the implication of rights and information on the internet.
MR BABU: Thank you. The open source paradigm is founded on the concept of freedoms and when you credit that to the kind of a picture, it is freedoms as applied to not just software but also to the societies and communities concerned.
It is very clear from the last two interventions that there are some communities today which are defined by the internet. If the internet does not exist, these communities may not exist. It is literally a life and death situation for some of the communities that have emerged in the last couple of decades.
Part of the problem that I see this tension between what the governments want, what the communities want and what business wants has to do with the fact that we are trying to use the legal frameworks of the 19th and the 20th centuries on technology which is futuristic, it is not of the 21st century but it is of the future. This is not an easy proposition to use the archaic legal frameworks on this.
As the first intervention mentioned about the model of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I think it is a very fundamental the UDHR instrument brought about a very fundamental shift in thinking, the whole vocabulary, the language that it promoted was new to the world in 1948 when it came about.
I think we should be looking for something similar, maybe a universal declaration of internet rights where there is out of the box thinking, a legal instrument which takes into account the fact that we cannot depend upon the frameworks of the past and we have to take into account the uniqueness of both the communities that we have, our own world has changed and the fact that the technology is also futuristic to come to a kind of consensus. That will give a backing to both nations, as well as communities, in order to face this challenge of how to balance the often conflicting requirements that each of the stakeholder have. Thank you.
MS ROSE: We will go to the input from our feeder workshops in just a moment, so if Charley Lewis and Brett Solomon could step up to the mic, and while they are, I would like to go back to Janis.
Janis, in your intervention you were talking about existing protocols, existing arrangements and their applicability to the internet which I think with an implication that many of what we have in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is applicable to the internet in that the freedoms offline should be enjoyed on line as well.
Satish, however, brings up the point that perhaps a new framework on internet rights should be established, that perhaps the existing frameworks are not robust enough. I was wondering if you might be able to comment on that discussion and have your views on that.
MR KARKLINS: I think that it would be maybe useful to continue discussions about it but I hardly see what new principles we could develop at this stage or what new freedoms could talk about which are not already addressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I am not against the debate but I think that the problem is not that much in lack of agreed universal freedoms or rights. I think that the problem is more of interpretation and implementation of those agreed rights in national States in relation to different social groups and I would rather personally think we should concentrate on implementation and the balancing of competing rights rather than trying to invent new rights.
MS ROSE: Let me take Jackie and Peter and then we will go to our feeder workshop. So Jackie, Peter.
MS RUFF: I suppose this could be related to what Janis just said. The topic here is free flow of information and I wanted to tie together a couple of channels and spaces in which that is being discussed and operationalised which are very contemporary.
You can see places where there may be restrictions on free flow of information, particularly across borders, where there are governments that may be interested in having international traffic, internet traffic, just go through a couple of gateways or even just one gateway. That may be justified on technical arguments or economic arguments but it does create a situation in which government, you know, monitoring and stopping of certain types of information can occur.
I think we need to be very vigilant about that as well as certain proposals coming into the ITU meeting for governments to be able to know exactly who originated traffic and what the route has been and in that way exercise greater control.
So that's a place where I think we need to be careful to make sure that bad things do not happen that would restrict the free flow.
On the other side, it is interesting to see that international trade agreements are now being used to try to get commitments from governments to allow a free flow of information across borders. It is driven as kind of a commercial idea but, again, it has implications in terms of internet users and the universal rights that are related to this being captured and advanced in an international trade agreement. So interesting to follow.
MS ROSE: Peter, your comment and then we will go to our report outs from the feeder workshop.
MR MAJOR: I just want to comment on Janis' intervention. I fully agree we have the framework and we have to implement and in a more concrete way I would like to call your attention that we are going to have a taking stock and way forward session tomorrow I think at the same place on principles, on principles which do apply to the internet and to in particular to the IGF. There are really many, many principles and I would like to have you around to discuss these principles and see what we can contribute as an IGF community.
MS ROSE: Thanks very much for that. We will go to Charley Lewis for the report out from feeder workshop 57.
CHARLEY LEWIS: My name is Charley Lewis. I am from the LINK Centre at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
The feeder workshop here dealt with a particular set of rights. It was looking at broadband access and consumer rights and really moving from the issue of gaining access to ensuring the quality of that access and the usefulness of the access for the consumer of the services. It is a fairly complex terrain. There is obviously a range of conflicting interests that need to be dealt with.
We had a diverse panel: representatives from the private sector; from civil society; from academia; ourselves; consumers; international; there were affiliated organisation from Latin America, India, Fiji; private sector, including the OECD, ETNO and a representative from Google.
Consumer rights and consumer protection in this space obviously relates to the set of rights or consumer rights that exist universally: the right to be informed; the right for choice; the right for redress for consumers; the right of consumers to have a voice, and to receive proper education, and we set it against that context.
We looked at identifying some of the issues that arise for consumers in the broadband space. The kinds of issues that came up during the discussion were access and connectivity, the right of consumers to get access to the services, in developing countries largely mobile 3G services.
We looked at quality of service itself, looking at things like bandwidth, at download speeds, at volumes of data. We looked at pricing and affordability as a critical set of issues. We identified misleading marketing, problems with contracts and difficulties of fine print in contract, billing issues and the responsiveness of providers/operators to the various set of complaint.
We did note that some of the research that has been undertaken by Consumers International, by ourselves at the LINK Centre, begins to scratch the surface here and we felt that more research is needed.
We then looked at the kinds of interventions that can be undertaken by policy makers, by regulators and these include things like ensuring proper legal frameworks and mandates, promoting competition and implementing regulatory international best practice. There is a range of issues there which I will not go into because of the issues of time.
Then we looked very briefly at a number of other interventions that have come in. We heard about the OECD policy toolkit. We looked at the work Google has done in their Google Measurement Lab. There was some discussion around quality of service applications, open source applications.
In summary, I think what we feel is there is further research needed in this area and we feel that this area needs to be taken forward and need to remains on the agenda. Thank you.
MS ROSE: Thanks very much for that report which puts a little bit of a different spin on the conversation we have had so far, which the access to the internet as a potential right.
So Brett Solomon, could you give us a report from 157, please.
BRETT SOLOMON: My name's Brett Solomon. I'm the executive director of Access Now as the moderator of the Panel is "access to the internet a human right" and we actually had a standing room only event. We ran out of headphones which was good and bad, I guess.
We kicked off, and picking up on the point made by the representative from UNESCO, as to whether there is actually the development of a new right. We actually talked about what is a human right to start off with and this question about you know in order to lead a full and dignified life in modern society do you need access to the internet, with the definition being that if that right is taken away then is a person unable to live in dignity and fully participate in society?
I think many people were in agreement that the taking away of that right was actually a breach of Article 19. Whether it was actually codified or could be acknowledged as a human right unto itself was the question that we also looked at in the positive sense. Does the State have an obligation to provide access?
The Permanent Secretary from Kenya, who is actually on this Panel, was also on our Panel. Jac from APC was also in the audience and made a great intervention.
We certainly agreed that it was a serious human rights issue. We had a number of members from the corporate sector, so we had Vince Cerf from Google and policy director Richard Alan from Facebook. They were concerned if there was a positive right what that would mean for the obligation to provide service and, in particular, whether that would mean greater regulation in the sector and they were concerned about that issue.
Civil Society, on the other hand, was like, well, if we have access to the internet as a human right that enables us to be able to advocate, to be able to lobby, it creates accountability from the State.
I don't think there was necessarily a conclusion from our discussion. There were many spirited views but I think you could possibly say that people thought that access to the Internet was an emerging human right and were very keen to have further discussion about it as we move forward and whether the human rights framework itself needs to look at different ways to be able to incorporate these new and merging rights in order to ensure that they reflect the needs and desires of humans today.
MS ROSE: Thanks so much, Brett, for that. I would like to open the floor to comments and questions and while people are coming up to the mic, I would like to give Satish a moment to respond to both Janis and Peter who are arguing that it is all about the implementation of current and existing frameworks and in your comment that something new might be needed. So if you just want to take a few minutes or minute or two to respond to their comments.
MR BABU: Thank you. I think it is very difficult to respond when such an idea is thrown out and placed on the table for discussions because it is rather new and it may not be easy for all of us to respond to it with any degree of regard(?).
However, I would say that the reason why I am saying this is because I believe, coming from the open source as I have, a community background, where the open source community has invented its own future and there was nothing comparable to open source when we started off a long time back. Today everybody knows what it is and that future has been invented, it's been engineered, it's evolved from the community itself.
Perhaps, you know, if you had raised this issue 20 years back maybe people would have said, "Well, we already have enough instruments to handle this eventuality as well and we may not need anything more than that".
My perspective comes from that and I believe also that bracketing internet rights with human rights is unfair to perhaps both because, while they overlap to some extent, even to a great extent, they are also very different and the rationale for the internet rights perhaps is also slightly different. The incremental approach to patching our legal frameworks to take care of the issues as they arise from the interaction between the technology and society may not work beyond a point. Already, we are seeing the kind of issues that come up from that approach.
So I would still say that it is important to discuss about an ab initio effort and seeing whether such a framework is feasible and possible and, if so, what would be the element as the last intervention from the floor and the workshop. A similar discussion has happened only they haven't put this label of internet rights as a separate thing. As we open it up, there may be more responses coming from the grassroots. Thank you very much.
MS ROSE: Thank you so much, Satish. Since there are no questions, we will move right into our next session on multilingualism. On that session, just as a comment, I think we had really in a short amount of time quite a robust discussion bringing up very substantive, high level issues including whether existing protocols are sufficient in this area, whether or not new protocols need to be developed or considered and should the access to the internet be a right and also issues of just the free flow of information on the internet and its implications of rights. So we really accomplished a lot of ground in that.
In that score, I will turn it over to Ory to take us to the multilingual issue.
MS OKOLLOH: Thanks, Karen. Thank you everyone for powering through with us. We are now the last session where we tackle the issue of multilingualism, which is very important, particularly in regions, and even countries, that have multiple languages, multiple community and questions of how do we address that within the world of the internet that might not necessarily be that diverse.
The question, if I can frame it with more clarity, is whether the linkages between local content and multilingualism, whether the obstacles remaining from a policy technical or other realm in terms of accelerating the uptake of multilingual and accessible content.
You know, wearing my Google hat we spend a lot of time, particularly in Africa, trying to make our content more accessible and it is always a challenge between how much you invest and how much you use. You find sometimes in some cases people are expressing a need for they said, "Who told you we want to access the internet in Kiswahili? We are comfortable in English." I got a lot of hate mail when we changed the default to Kiswahili on our search page in Kenya to test out this issue of how to make content accessible.
I think there is an interesting debate in terms of not just accessibility but what about the role of preservation of languages that are at risk of just not being spoken anymore but can we used technology to preserve language and culture. You certainly see international geographic companies, like Google, taking initiatives in terms of preservation.
So I think we are going to tackle those two challenges: accessibility and also the preservation of diversity through technology. If I may, I will start off with Janis if you can tackle that from the UNESCO perspective.
MR KARKLINS: Thank you very much. As you probably know, for UNESCO multilingualism is one of the very important areas of our work and our concern this is the part of cultural diversity, this is the part of everyday human life and therefore we take questions related to multilingualism very seriously.
The first time UNESCO addressed questions of multilingualism on internet in 2003 when we developed recommendations for multilingualism on the internet, we put very much hope in and we applaud very much the decision of ICANN to introduce international domain names in country space in 2008, if I am not mistaken, or 2009.
The biggest country in terms of internet users is China. As a result, Chinese language gains a very big prominence on the internet.
We applaud the introduction of IDNs and we thought that that would be a very important facilitator or uptake of using different languages on the net and from one sense it is. We saw that there was a very big interest among stakeholders in this area. But in order really to monitor and understand and analyse what is happening in terms of IDN uptake, UNESCO together with URID actually URID together with UNESCO, that would be more correct last year started to look at this area very seriously and produce the report on IDN uptake.
This year we developed the second report, World Report on Internationalised Domain Name Deployment in 2012. This is the publication which is available also on line. This report identifies a number of areas, policy areas, which need to be addressed in order to really benefit from opportunities IBN, ccTLDs and gTLDs in the future will provide.
Technical challenges which have been identified by the report are: lack of support by browsers of IDNs and basically non existent of IDN e mail protocol and that some of the popular services on the net do not support IDNs. Certainly we need to address those issues. The technical community need to look at them. We know that this is very challenging. Nevertheless, we have invested so much already in development of IDNs that we need also to make this last effort to finalise building the eco system supporting IDNs.
The second area which has been identified relates to organisational issues related to registration policies, related to existence or network of registrars in countries which provide IDN registrations. So, again, these are issue that CCNSO should look at, registrar community should look at and we were planning to continue analysing the available data on IDN uptake in order to better understood what is going on and the underlying reasons for success or failure and provide guidance for the future.
I think I will stop here and we will let others continue to bring this discussion forward. Thank you.
MS OKOLLOH: Thank you for your comments. I think, Dr Kamel, through your experience at ICANN you have also some comments and feedback to share.
DR KAMEL: Thank you. I want to compliment what Janis has mentioned. Indeed, I can takes the IDN issue very serious and extremely serious because it is part of the globalisation policy and the internationalisation policy of ICANN. In 2009 ICANN has started specifically for the IDN, for the first time a fast track registration for the ccTLD's and we have exceeded 30 IDNs for ccTLDs. As it has been mentioned we have various successes in countries like Russia, for example, where we have a clear uptake in Cyrillic in IDN registrations under the Russian ccTLD domain in Cyrillic, but it looks different in the Arab world, for example, whether in Egypt or Indonesia, or in other parts of the Arab countries the uptake is not that fast so we look forward definitely working with UNESCO and with other players that are interested in taking this forward and to work with the technical community as well, talk to them via the IEGF and via the various business constituencies ICANN have in order to make sure that the right standards and the right protocols are really put in place, whether for e mails or browsers or for other types of popular services that are not supporting for the time being IDN's.
In addition to that I would like to mention that IDN are part of our new gTLD programme for the first time. The new gTLD programme has been announced and applications have been received. We have around the 1,900 applications, close to 2,000 applications. 117 out of these applications are IDN applications. This is fairly acceptable number, a good number as a first round of new gTLD applications.
I am proud and happy to say that our new CEO and president, Faidish Haradi , has announced that during the approval of the new gTLD applications, a priority is going to be given to IDN's, so there is a big debate whether geographical applications should take priority or cultural applications or whatever other type of applications coming from business constituencies or civil society but there has been a decision that has been put forward and taken that priority is going be given to IDN's, to the 117 applications to be judged and those approved will be added to the route.
Simply this is another message of internationalisation, globalisation and multilingualism within the domain name industry is taking a priority for ICANN because this is a base really as it has been mentioned for multi lingual content in this.
We need to look together as has been mentioned on the organisational issues, how should we make the registration steps more easy, the lack of accredited registrars in countries that are working on IDN issues, whether ccTLD or gTLD.
We need to empower the registrars we have within our African strategy that I mentioned before, a programme to empower accredited registrars and hand held African countries and African start ups to be accredited as a registrars not just resellers for other registrars but really accredited registrars. This will help in the uptake of registrations for the IDN specifically in ccTLDs as well as gTLDs.
MS ROSE: Just a quick question, Dr Kamel, you pointed to the uptake, the difference in uptake between Russia and say like the Arab world. Is that tied to the issues around the lack of registrars or what is the main difference there?
DR KAMEL: There are various reasons. Lack of registrars is definitely one of the reasons. All the Arab countries, have just three or 4 accredited registrars all together, accredited registrars by ICANN. Recently, as Christine mentioned from the floor, we have been looking at the Arab IGF in Kuwait and looking also at the possibilities for empowering Arab registrars to be accredited more and more.
The Russian ccTLD has spotted as priority, and they have succeeded to link that to content and they have also managed to have a success as a success case, they have lowered the barrier for registration as well and made it more easy and more online and more automative and the requirements has also been rightly positioned.
I hope that this success story will be repeated in other parts of the world concerning the IDN because it is the enabler for the multilingual content and the local content industry.
I want to say one final comment, that local content is not anymore geographic proximity, but local content is relevance to user. If we talk about the Arab world, we have 400 million Arab speaking population worldwide, only maybe 75% are living within the Arab world. The rest is in the US or Europe or Australia or Latin America and they all are looking for arabic content so it is not anymore geographical proximity but it is relevance to users.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, and I will turn over to Satish, did you have any contributions you wanted to make on this question?
SATISH BABU: Thank you. I have the few points regarding the issue of multilingualism, one is that there is a need for standardisation. It is more of a technical kind of thing on encoding, on rendering and on things like collation which is used for sorting internally. These have been done for most of the prominent languages but we still have a large number of languages where this has not been done. This is to be done by the Unicode consortium, the business as well as the government.
The next version of the web, the web 3.0 is supposed to be the semantic web where the Meta data needs to be tagged along with the HTML that we all know, unless that happens the search engines and other tools will not be able to parse the meanings , so the semantic web and the need to therefore look at meanings on the multilingual space is something we have to look at.
The need for online real time tools like speech translation, the text translation does exist, text to speech does exist but the end to end speech to speech is still very elusive, it will be very useful to have, especially when you have mixed language communities and it will be a powerful tool, to bring together diverse communities.
There is also the issue of localisation itself, localisation on, for example, the Android platform. This is not yet done completely and, of course, since it is an open source kind of a model the open source community is also chipping in to do its bit for the localisation of the platform, so the localisation of Android is in particular very important, because of the fact that there is a such a lot of innovation happening on the platform. For the future, much of the local has to be also local language content.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you and last intervention, Jac did you want to comment from a less we focused a bit on the technical. I am hoping you can take us back again to the human.
JAC sm LEE: I am like the human.
ORY OKOLLOH: I guess I meant person.
JAC sm LEE: I guess what I wanted to share, is just a project that took place a few years ago in Chakistak, India, this is like a small rural community in India, there was a policy to facilitate direct communication between local representatives of state, to the state government and they wanted to think, okay, what is the best way to do this? Accompanying this policy was basically another policy that said that 30 per cent of the locally elected representatives had to be women. This was a really exciting thing, trying to think about how then can we really empower local women leaders at a very local level to also influence policy making at the state level and let's think of an innovative use of technology.
What they come up with this thing called the Simputer. The Simputer was a very simple handheld device it had information you could use in order to collect particular data or to sort of like transmit and communicate particular information on needs back to the state government and so they really wanted to try and, and implement this project in Chakistak .
This is a great project, great vision, and the question is, how did it work and did it work well? Dr Anapama Saksina, she is one of our partners and a colleague and she did an evaluation on this, she did an a gender evaluation methodology on this ICT project. She said this, really, at the end of the day helped to empower women.
Unfortunately, several things went wrong. The first thing that went wrong, is there was only one day training on how to use the Simputer. One day training is not enough in order for women who are really not used to technology and not used to looking at technology and being quite brave with it.
One day, was like there was an assumed familiarity already with technology.
Mobility was also an issue. They assumed that, "Okay, you know, you are locally elected women leaders so you have no problems travelling and you can come to the training centre and it's okay". Unfortunately, for many of the women it was not okay and it was actually very difficult to try and organise this.
Then the third thing which I guess also directly speaks to our current thematic area is that most of the content in the Simputer was in Hindi, when most of them spoke Chatiscati sp so even in that very local level we need to think of multi lingualism not just at the national broad stroke but also at very, very local levels in terms of our solution making and really contextualise it from that aspect itself.
Finally, of course the faulty Simputers always end up with the local women representatives so they couldn't use it.
I think this actually brings to us a very useful lesson in thinking right, okay, if we have the intention, we have the political will to really do something and we want to invest money but we really need to involve the intended beneficiaries from the very beginning itself, from thinking about the solutions, to defining the problem to developing the technology and that kind of underscores the point.
ORY OKOLLOH: Okay, thank you, now I will open it up to the floor, to remote participants. We have a question from a remote participant.
JENY VILLALBLA: I would really, first of all, it is [loss sound], UNESCO and ICANN for the efforts and UNESCO working to make sure that all the languages are able to be forecast and to be known in the world and for ICANN, especially for the ideas that have been given the priority.
My question is about the languages that are going to be, we know there are certain minority languages, especially in Kenyan, they have never been heard, they may not have even touched a computer so what is UNESCO doing to like push the governments to, to make sure that such, such languages can have content online, Mr [name inaudible] really improving on content and encouraging the young people, the young people from those languages, minority languages, can be encouraged to put content online because the internet has a very good memory. Thank you.
ORY OKOLLOH: Would you like to take the second one?
REMOTE MODERATOR: So we do have a comment from Sheba Mohamed from Trinidad and Tobago again. She, says language barriers on the internet certainly pose challenges for local groups to access content on line. The internet can also provide an opportunity and is a useful tool for preserving local and indigenous languages. A positive example from a small island developing country has been the ISOC support to forgive me for the pronunciation [name inaudible] Vahahouneye project which aims to indigenous language survival and preservation, in the Pacific of Niwi.
Are there any practical examples that we can point to communities that are using technology to foster multilingual content of indigenous people and what opportunities are there to use the internet for indigenous language preservation.
ORY OKOLLOH: If you can answer the UNESCO question and maybe speak to preservation as well.
JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you answering the question of remote participant, I already mentioned in my intervention that in 2003 UNESCO adopted recommendations concerning the promotion and use of multilingualism and universal access to cyberspace. In UNESCO terms a recommendation is a legally binding instrument and the governments have an obligation on the regular basis report on the implementation of these recommendations.
This is the way how, putting in your words, the remote participant, UNESCO is pushing governments to think about multilingualism and promote use of different languages in the cyberspace.
Also, by doing studies like again one I mentioned on the economic aspects of local content creation which is very tightly linked with multilingualism. UNESCO is trying to identify additional arguments which could be used in the policy debate and policy guidance for the governments because if you just say you need to invest in multilingualism, the response from the government can be, you know, "We have also other priorities in the country", but if we can argue that by investing in multilingualism you have economic return to your investment; that argument is much stronger than just a policy argument, please do that.
To the practical concrete examples or whether UNESCO is working in preservation of languages around the world, a while ago, UNESCO developed the atlas of endangered languages. This atlas was a mapping exercise which allowed us to identify the real situation and, indeed, out of more than 6,000 languages many could be considered as endangered simply because of the number of users and perspective of use of those languages in the future.
Whether we are working on the preservation of those languages, on policy level? Yes. On practical level? Yes, we have some examples but the best way would be for the local community which is interested in developing a project on preservation of language by using technology, I would advise to contact UNESCO field offices or office responsible for the country you are living in and with our experts try to identify and develop the project proposal, which then we would try to implement.
ORY OKOLLOH: There was a question directed to specifically to Dr Ndemo, then I think we can wrap it up. I think we need to close.
BITANGE NDEMO: Yes, we are doing a number of efforts to preserve some of the languages. One of the things that the public broadcaster is doing is to ensure that as many languages are able to preserve their culture.
We have lots and lots of content that is in different languages, even those that are endangered, that for a long time we have not had a platform to do it and we are actually looking forward with the new digital platforms to be able to put such content and be able to use them.
On conversion of some of the content into the local languages, we also need the participation of the indigenous people to come out and actually help the government in doing so because the government itself cannot do it without the participation of the people themselves and our doors are very open to such requests.
We would do us much as we can even though in Kenya, there are two national languages, that is English and Swahili, there is a renewed effort that we look at the endangered languages and begin to preserve those languages but more importantly the driver has to come from the people themselves then the government can take it up, otherwise it will be very difficult if the issue is just left to the government to begin to do it without the willingness of the indigenous groups. Thank you.
ORY OKOLLOH: Thank you, thank you very much and with that we are unfortunately out of time, so I will hand it over to Karen for a quick wrap up and then we can close.
KAREN ROSE: Thanks, Ory. Thank you very much to our panelists and to everyone in the audience for this really engaging and interesting discussion.
We certainly covered a lot of ground today. We started out with framing the issue of access and diversity more as a value proposition rather than just a binary issue of people who have access and people who don't. We note and in our discussions, talked about the various different kinds of issues that make access and diversity really relevant to individuals.
In going through I think even though we had five issues that were given to us to be discussed, I think in some ways these can be really boiled down into three areas. First, we discussed physical infrastructure issues, talking about the issues of undersea cables, talking about the issues of bandwidth, talking about the issues of mobile and other ways to get sheer access to different communities and those techniques there.
We also talked about issues of governance infrastructure, in particular some of the issues of policy what governments are doing in terms of promoting infrastructure, promoting mobile, what governments are doing in terms of promoting multilingualism as we just heard and also the third area which Ory reminded us of just recently is probably the most important: discussing issues of human infrastructure, disabled youth and empowerment of people and how we can preserve and extend culture on the internet.
I think that brings us up to the high level issue and the realisation that the internet isn't just about computers, wires and boxes. At the end of the day the internet is about people and the issues of access and diversity need to make sure that we are addressing issues that are going to extend human empowerment, extend the value proposition of the internet and deliver on that promise to all people. With that I will turn it over to our chairwoman, thank you.
CHAIR: Thank you very much. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, as you know today's main session was on access and diversity, all together we explored these issues emphasising on the social economic development dimension. Officially, this is third day that IGF is going on in Baku. We had available and important sessions meeting during these days. Within two days there have already been held four feeder workshops on these issues.
According all, as a conclusion, I would like to add that 10 per cent increase in broadband integration can lead to a 3.2 per cent increase in a county's GDP, along with a 2 per cent productivity increase.
Broadband internet can play important role in boosting the economy of a country as well as the well being of citizens. On the other hand.
One area in which broadband can make significant improvement in their life is human rights. It should be noted internet is a unique opportunity for all diverse population in the world.
This should be equal access to diverse population of the world. I would like to thank our moderators, Karen Ory Claudia and Raquel and our panelists for leading us in very high quality discussions.
Thank you, audience, for your questions and your very valuable ideas and a very sincere thank you to our interpreters who interpret all these sessions.
Now I call session closed and pass the microphone to Mr Masango of the IGF secretariat.
Chengetai Masango: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, that ends the session. The next session is at 3 o'clock, security, openness and privacy thank you.
[end of session]