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IGF 2019 – Day 3 – Convention Hall I-D – OF #5 Looking beyend the isolation - The LLDC´s and the World

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> We're just waiting for a couple more people and then we will start.  Thank you guys for being here.

>> Good afternoon, everybody and thank you for being here.  Our session, we are going to start our session now.  Our session is about the land developing countries and each relationship with the world.  And how we ask developing countries with the situation can look beyond the isolation that is our reality.  It's an issue that we need to address in the digital age.  Digital evolution, digital transformation should help us as developing countries to find ways to belittle the situation that we are in and give us tools and capacity building regulations to make us stronger and better as countries and regions and make us better place in the international community.  Sometimes the situation is not such.  And more developing countries are a Group of 34 countries from all regions that have disadvantages because on of geographical location.  So we have for you tonight the very interesting panel with (?) director is from (?) with development from Paraguay.  And we use Ambassadors from a lot of developing countries.  I want to give them the opportunity to introduce themselves and tell us about their experiences both on level of political commitment by developing countries and the presence here at IGF.  I will start to give the floor to give us the distinct remarks.  You have the floor.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  Thank you, Miguel.  Good evening.  It's good to see you here to have this session discussing an issue which I've ‑‑ I was thinking of specific issue, general (?) specific.  I mean land log developing countries face also common problems that other developing countries have times with digital issues especially to the question of access and there are specificities and it is good that Miguel with other (?) you have been keeping this initiative alive in the IGF.  I think IGF you keep sort of dynamics about landlock countries together with small island states and sometimes interstately.  That's important for the few is reasons.  One reason is that most of the digital policy is usually discussed arrange and adjusted to the interest of the major players.  People go around the table who have a chance to discuss digital policy issues.  And that's fine.  Obviously the big countries like United States, China, European union, other players that have technical potentials and have big diplomacies and have a big interest.  It's in a way expected they have the major presence in digital policy negotiations.  But countries like Paraguay and other countries can also play an important role if they find the few niche of concern and interest.  One important one is question for access.  Access to networks and C base cages and that's uniqueness in the question of the cost, additional cost for access and other elements that we are aware of.

Now one area where the new developments are happening is in Euro Asian continental mass where many land lock countries are basically located and where for the first time in history, the major transit of the digital traffic is happening over the cables which are following more or less gas pipelines and the railroads developing project by China.  This is extremely important development because throughout the history, international data and telecommunication traffic has been going through the basically C bath cables.  If you follow the route of C bath cages today around Euro nation continent and also across, you will see they follow the same road as telegraph cables that go from 100 years ago.  Egypt, Swiss, Red Sea, India, around the Indian sub‑continent, Singapore and then towards the North China or South Indonesia and Australia.  Currently, more than 90% of global traffic is going intercontinental, traffic within continents is going through the cables.  So the first time, one belt one road initiative is basically providing the land lock countries with fast excess because the cables will be available in central Asia and Republic.  That is going to be the major challenges at the Euro Asian landmass.  I don't know specificities in Africa.  They face also unique challenges for land law countries and in Latin America there's issues.  But probably one of the solution is to find this cost effective approach and there are some advantages for the land based fiberoptic cables comparing to the (?)  Is it cheaper to lay down, maintenance is easier and there are quite a few of them.  Therefore, we may discuss today and develop this argument what would be argument of Paraguay to push fors fiberoptics to lay across Latin America and south American continent.  I can all share with you some research that I did on this issue.  That's one of the I would say major event.  The second advantage is also related more to central Asia.

It is battle for the data farms.  Countries are trying to attract data farms.  Usually land law countries have a bit dryer and colder climate than countries which are on the sea shore.  It was central Asia Republic considering also data farms because the climate is cold, dry and there is relatively solid supply of electricity because of what they rely in the water.  They should look.  I'm just mentioning too.  They should look for this country in developments that sort of disadvantage in (?) commerce of a bit land lock can turn into the advantage.  I just want to throw these few ideas that we may discuss in more detail.  But that's basically what is my initial input.

>> One of the issues is Connectivity for us to develop further.  And usually there are a lot of initiatives that need to be further developed.  I will now give the floor to (?) from Paraguay that will show us a little bit of the same views.  But from the far side of the (?) Paraguay.  Thank you very much.  You have the floor.

>> Thank you.  It is all a disadvantage because in fact, Paraguay in our case we have an ‑‑ a country that is very rich in producing renewable energy with basically unlimited or at least another limited, but with plenty of energy resources.  Renewal by the way.  But on the other hand, when we talk about Connectivity, we face a situation in which today we are squeezed in the middle of big players which are Argentina and Brazil.  So in some way due to how ‑‑ due to how the region is going currently, we face a situation in which we have to go ‑‑ undergo further negotiations.  That is we have to for Connectivity, for proper Connectivity, we have to go through a third party supplier which is usually a private Teleco.  So this currently represents an extra accommodational cost which makes Connectivity in our country more expensive and less quality than the standard, than the regional standard; however, currently, Paraguay is facing carrying out a project called the digital agenda by the newly created ICT ministry which is kind of being the new articulator of ICT public policies.  On our side from myself as chair and with the commission as chair of the ICT commission in the lower chamber, we are, you know, positioning which we have to articulate together legislation with the ICT ministry and make sure it is ‑‑ make sure we include all other institutions involved ‑‑ it is in order to make good quality legislation in that way.  Presenting this, the situation that concerns our Connectivity creates certain doubts meaning that how can raising questions like how can a country depend on the infrastructure of a private owned company in our country.  There are issues that concern over sovereignty.  There are issues that also go to, for example, that come all the way down to trade conversations meaning that if Paraguay is having issues with Argentinian customs to take products out through the river that takes our goods to the sea, that can be used as a negotiation to put into discussion, put our Connectivity into discussion.  Unfortunately, Merckosur hasn't reached the level of consolidation which we would have expected.  It is common market of the southern countries which include Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and adding in process of adding Bolivia and eventually Chile.  Unfortunately, politics haven't allowed the common market to consolidation as it should, which creates certain doubts about stable long‑term agreements concerning because on one side, Paraguay has its way out to the sea with Argentina and on the other hand, it has a big negotiation with the shared hydroelectric dam which is in current process and conditions have been set about 30 years ago.  And which is a big ‑‑ it's a big discussion because of what ‑‑ because of the ‑‑ how much it represents for Brazil's energy supply.  So again, any move that Brazil takes on one side or another could represent some strategy to negotiate and that could put Connectivity not at risk, but could make it ‑‑ could make our future uncertain about whether we can have better and cheaper Connectivity.  So those are kind of the issues.  Unfortunately, we cannot limit it to Connectivity because of so many other aspects especially so many aspects that are taken into consideration in diplomatic conversations.  So it's ‑‑ we have to be very broad and very strategic when we consider our future plans especially carrying out this digital agenda in order to deploy the proper infrastructure that allows us to have proper back up with one country or with the other or eventually with Bolivia, which is our neighbor on the north border.  Again it's a matter of being able to reduce, cut down symmetries and a way to properly leverage advantages for further negotiations.  So we have to watch Connectivity in a broad spectrum considering commercial aspects and considering further negotiations and ins long‑term, hopefully we can have good results if the region reaches its expected levels of consolidation.

>> Thank you very much.  It was a very interesting point of view particularly taken into account that original policies and situations play a lot into our decision making needs.  To use IGF Ambassadors the opportunity to be with us and to talk to us and show us now our country is doing things.  So I will give the floor now to the first of them and asking them to tell us a little bit of yourselves and the 30‑second clips of you and then talk for five minutes or so about the situations in your countries and how you see them originally because you are as well different regions.  So Innocent, you have the floor.

>> Innocent Adriko:  My name is Innocent Adriko from Uganda.  It's (?) to talk about issues related to issues related to access to the internet or of course all the issues surrounding accessibility and (?) trends and infrastructure.  So I checked out a report.  In this report in 2014, the average cost export for one container for land revoke the country was 3,444 U.S. dollars.  And when you make that comparison on the other side fur transit countries, it was $1 U.S. dollars.  When you check the importation average cost of importation, land Lord developing countries, it was 4,344 U.S. dollars compared to $1559 U.S. dollars.  That's already challenge for us.  In case we are talking about infrastructure in our countries, that's already challenged because you can imagine that difference for us to be able to import or even export.  So when you're talking about the issue the land locked countries, we not only look into the accessibility.  I've looked so much into the infrastructure in Uganda.  Uganda has struggled to make sure that it has good accessibility for Internet users.  In 2017 in (?), first of all, I announced the (?)  And this was to build 767 kilometers in Uganda.  So possibly to me, this was like ‑‑ I think like an idea maybe to make sure that the Internet users at least are able to access a bit of service and get a bit of Connectivity and this infrastructure was to enable delivery of more Connectivity services to a region over 3 million people.  Now, in Uganda, most of the areas in Uganda seem to be rural.  So that creates a challenge.  When you have this fiberoptic, you already have the challenge that you have to negotiate with your neighbor to get the fiberoptic.  Then you have to invest into the infrastructure that you are supposed to build in your country.  So for us, the accessibility in our rural areas you do realize it is not good at all, our areas are not well connected.  The Internet connectivity is only good when (?)  The question is always what is (?) for weak land ‑‑ for developing countries like especially Uganda given that also its policies actually I know that favorable because you already hustle to get that Connectivity and again policies you have in your country do not favor the Connectivity because when you bring in policies like people (?) to access the social media, then they don't link up at all.  I don't know if it's the challenge to bring up to such policies because the government will be like we're trying to raise ‑‑ we're trying to increase the tax biz so that we can be able to pay the taxes.

In Africa, you do realize that internet users in land locked countries pay an average of 232 U.S. dollars more per month for fixed broadband access than those in (?)  And most of these countries talk of Uganda, the ones that are benefiting on the coastal countries of Kenya and Tanzania it's all about how do I get accessibility?  After getting accessibility now, the question becomes what next?  How do I make sure that my people get this Connectivity?  So that's always where the challenge focus is and then it's good that some of these countries are trying to embrace that challenge and have tried to look for solutions because I was checking out Rhonda.  Rhonda has illustrated a possibility of land locked nations having cheaper international wholesale Connectivity prices than even the sea facing countries.  In 2012, they signed up a 10‑year (?) with Tanzania communications company.  And this agreement was to procure international bandwidth at an attractive price.  Some of these countries have embraced the challenge and they're trying to look for solutions to the challenge.  I think when you're talking about these challenges, we should also be looking to what next?  Okay.  We have agreed we're land locked.  Should we just sit back and watch such problems that we're facing or we should look for solutions.  Thank you.

>> Thank you very much for that intervention and for those (?)  We usually tend to talk about policies and forget the reality of the dollar in the pocket situation.  That is a reality and applies to logistics and to decision making as well.  Thank you very much for that.

You have the floor.

>> Thank you, Miguel.  I'm from Napal and I'm also internet society youth.  High prices have hit many countries around the world and Napal faces this problem because we are land of country, we have to higher transport cost and we have to rely land transport with (?) country.  Like in India, we are relying the internet Connectivity from India.  If there is water transport, we can do more.  We don't have (?) at all now.  That's why if you have a more country connected than better option for Connectivity will be affordable.  So we have an outside signer and these are (?) and it's impossible due to the weather condition.  And also due to the (?), we have to stick what they assign to us.  These are days of a big chance to (?) and it is also planning for the (?) render and where these are wireless (?) and Napal (?) these and answer one of the biggest operators in Napal.  They have (?) because the (?) is having maximum policies on that and have to invest an amounted of money.  So it's a difficult for the local high speed and small company to have spectrum.  That's things that our country is facing nowadays.  Thank you.

>> Thank you very much for that indeed.  Micro medium companies are players that need to be nurtured and helped.  It gives us another layer of things we need to think about when developing policies for our developing counts radios.  We have had the opportunities to hear from countries from Asia and another country from Africa and as well one of our favorites objective institutions.  So I now would like to open the floor for anybody who would like to ask a question and I will certainly encourage you to do so.  So we can get from some more perspectives from our panelists.  I don't see any questions from the online participants.  So I will look around the room and see if someone wants to start the conversation.  Yes.  Go ahead.  Thank you.  Please introduce yourself.

>> My name is Francisco and I work in the Telecom of Poway.  I would like to speak on economic history.  I think that the way of thinking the extra cost would pay for transport?  Poway case to Brazil and Argentina may not be the correct way to think about the problem.  Of course it pays ‑‑ it pays out, but maybe another big problem is that operators in Poway structure.  We have like four or five back bones instead of having just one shared with all the operators.  So that raises the price for people.  So I think that maybe we need to make some policies that favor the infrastructure sharings.  So the operators will compete services and not in infrastructure.  So I think that price must follow.  Maybe there are some other factors that we are missing because we are seeing the transfer cost is the main problem.  So we left site and possible solutions.  Maybe other problems can be the price of spectrum.  Maybe as land countries, we need to consider the spectrum cannot be the same cost that we ‑‑ that in Brazil or Argentina or in another country.  Thank you.

>> Miguel:  Thank you very much, Francisco for that.  Those were very interesting views.  Anybody want to say a few words on that?  You have the floor.

>> Just one question.  How did the shake confidence address how did the latest radio telecommunication conference address this question of spectrum?  Was it discussed in Sharmo Shake?

>> Unfortunately, I did not go there ‑‑ unfortunately, I did not go there, but I don't know the results.

>> Up on the IQ sham or shake.

>> Last week, I think the Wow Way delegation went there.  I really don't know what the results of your answer was.  Sorry.

>> Miguel:  No worries.  I can say something about the word regulators conference.  Recently over, they touch upon the spectrum situation.  And I think there's going to be a report on the guidelines on how to determine indicators to go in the right direction of pricing.  And dividing the different ranges of the spectrum you have to take into account.  Any other one with a question?  If you're not on the table, you can just come to the table and ask.  I don't think that is the case.  So I would like to then give just a couple of minutes to close with a few remarks and I will start in the same way we did the first.  You want two minutes to close up?  Thank you.

>> I am particularly honored to have a chance to hear from our youth Ambassadors and the ‑‑ and the great parliamentary from Paraguay.  That was always, always extremely useful.  You presented a really useful statistics on both Uruguay and I'm sorry.  Uganda and Napal.  We heard about challenges, really interesting challenges in Uruguay which are putting the personal Connectivity into broader geo political content as indicated the question of negotiations and Connectivity links to the other negotiations and trade and other issues.  You mentioned what was interesting is that probably for land of countries the solution, one of the solutions can be through regional arrangements like (?) saw and that's probably interesting.  I know that this session ‑‑ does not deserve empty room because it was so interesting and I learned a lot personally.  Thank you for that and I encourage young Ambassadors in particular to move and present their country and the cause and to keep this issue alive in the digital policy discussions.

>> Miguel:  Thank you very much, Ivan, for those encouraging words.  I think it deserves more attention and it's very, very true.  But everyone who is here is very important in taking the message out.  With that, I will leave.  Your Honor, you have the floor.

>> Thank you.  On our side, I think we have to keep strong on pursuing regional consolidation.  Unfortunately, politics has been ‑‑ has not been a friend of regional of this consolidation meaning that the changes that there have been in regional garments have been somehow ‑‑ have not helped this consolidation.  I believe that common markets, regions have to go beyond their own governments.  We have to build our institutions in a way that no matter who is in power, the institutions persist and the unification strengthens.  On the other hand internally, we have a big challenge because following, for example, the digital agenda, I was mentioning which is a big project for especially for accessibility and for Connectivity.  We have a challenge on insuring that there is a proper governance of the main back bone that is being ‑‑ that has been put in place now because there is going to be a state owned back bone.  There is a state owned back bone that has been somehow optimized.  So we have to insure the proper governance in order for this Connectivity to ‑‑ in order for this to turn into results for the people who have to benefit from this accessibility.  So yes.  Above all, we have a big challenge in building trustworthy institutions, reliable institutions that are able to negotiate properly and that are able to leverage local interests and not only depend on one or on another neighbor, but to be able to be a strong player to stand as a strong player in the region.  Unfortunately, our condition makes us depend end in a big way on our neighbors.  So good proper relationship with them is always necessary.  But we have a lot to offer?  We have a lot of potential which I think can make us a good strategic focal point for the development for the development of the region as a whole.

>> Miguel:  Thank you very much.  Very good remarks.  Innocent, you have the floor.

>> Innocent Adriko:  They talk to corporation and corporation is a very good idea in that they can be able to agree upon sharing some of the costs involved in deploying these fiber back bones.  So another solution could be operators can be able to leverage their presence in other countries.  We have seen (?) linking mighty from the Synagog boarder.  I mean, (?) has linked mighty from Synagog.  So it build actually it was able to link ups Synagog back bone to the mighty border because it was using the advantage that they're present in two countries.  So they're able to use that advantage.  So that will be a solution.  Thank you.

>> Thank you very much and particularly for looking for solutions.  That is a very hopeful view of the future and that's what we need from you guys.  You have the floor.

>> Yeah.  In Napal, we should also increases local traffic so we can Connect more and that's the main thing that we should do in our country.  Still we are not getting connected in processed because it is still in the process of Napal.  We are still lagging behind and there are lots of ‑‑ (?) needed.  So we need to develop local contain.  Thank you.

>> Miguel:  Thank you very much.  That was very time efficient.  From my end, I would first like to thank you all for being here to take the time to be here in the room and online.  We thank everyone for being here and show us your experience, your expertise and in very intricate issues.  And to our ‑‑ to Ambassadors, I would like to say outgoing MAG member that (?) future sites and it is very important for you to understand the world is not ending in around borders or in regions and we need to be able to get developing countries together and be a strong Group of international negotiations as we are now.  So just in a good tone as the discussions have been so far, making the (?) stronger is making the transit countries stronger and the benefit should be mutual as any relationship we have anywhere at any time.  And that's why we need to not only work fine ourselves to understand our own needs, but we need to understand that our actions as governments and as countries take effect to our neighbors livelihood as well and not just the other way around.  We need to work in a place of fears with the transit countries.  And that's why there's a broader thing to talk about from here to about you have the time to go to your offices and your houses.  So thank you very much for being here.  Thank you very much.

[APPLAUSE]

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