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IGF 2016 - Day 0 - Room 2 - OECD - Broadband Policies For LAC: A Digital Economy Toolkit

 

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Jalisco, Mexico, from 5 to 9 December 2016. 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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>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Hi.  Just a quick note.  I think we're going to start a bit late because the line there is super long, and some of our speakers still haven't arrived, so maybe 9:15, and then we'll start, so we don't -- we're not so late.

>> (Off microphone)

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: There is --

>> (Off microphone)

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: So we'll try to start at 9:15.

(Short break taken)

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: We're still missing a few speakers, but we're going to start in two minutes.

Hi.  I invite everyone to take their seats.  We're going to start now, please.

Hi.  Good morning.  It's 9:30 now.  We are starting a bit late because some of the speakers have not arrived yet, but I invite the other people to participate too, to take the floor and speak.  This is a roundtable, so it's aimed to be an open space of discussion.

My name is Lorrayne Porciuncula.  I work with OECD in the Digital Economy and Policy Division, more specifically with infrastructure and services policy and regulation in the OECD.

This, today, in our panel, we have some very good speakers.  We have Alexandre Barbosa, who is manager of CETIC, we have Christoph Steck, who's director of Policy and Internet of Telefonica.  We have Sebastian Bellagamba, who's regional bureau director for Latin American and Caribbean and Internet Society.

We have Maria Helena Estavillo, who is a commissioner in the IFT in Mexico, Mexico regulator.  And at some point we have Bruno Ramos joining us, and I'll introduce if the other two arrive.

So just to start, I would like to give you a quick presentation on what this session is about.  This is a session aimed to inform people on the -- on the work that we just produced in the OECD as the Broadband Policies for Latin America, a Digital Economy Policy Toolkit.

And is it passing?  There.

So just to give you a brief introduction of what this work was.  So the idea was to provide a resource for policymakers and regulators in the region, a set of good practices, both from the OECD and from the countries themselves, and something that could be used as a training material in the region, and that was the main -- in the main objective of the IDB.

So the process started back in 2014.  It was a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank.  It was kicked off in February of 2014, so we're speaking of a long process, where we collected data from 26 Latin American and Caribbean countries.  We had focal points in each one of these countries.  We gathered up-to-date information on the regulation and on the good practices, and we selected specific cases of good practices in both supply and demand-side issues.

So it was a compilation of both good practices from these countries and from the OECD.  In the OECD we have recommendations, but many of our good practices are not necessarily set in our legal instruments, but they are rather shared in our committee and in the practices of our delegations, and the idea was to compile this set of good practices that could be used in the Latin American, Caribbean countries, so those drafts that we produced in these past two years were reviewed by countries in the region and by our Delegates themselves, and we had two launches, one in English and one in Spanish, and it was a major contribution for our ministry, a meeting that happened just a few months ago.

So as I said, the toolkit is aimed to cover both demand- and supply-side issues, and it has the same structure every single chapter.  It starts with the introduction, and then we identify the policy objectives and then we put what are the tools for measurement and analysis, such as a set of indicators that could be used to follow up that these policy objectives are being achieved.

We then analyze the situation of the region, a particular set of areas.  We then select good practices that we have in the region, and reference is in further reading.  And then for the chapters -- I'm going to read the titles -- we first start with the Introduction, setting the scene in Latin American and the Caribbean with the few statistics, demographics, and penetration rates in the region.  Then we go on to discuss the Regulatory frameworks and digital strategies.  The third chapter is Spectrum policy, and then Competition and infrastructure bottlenecks.  The fifth chapter is Extending broadband access and services.  The sixth is Government charges and digital inclusion.  Chapter 7 is on Convergence; 8 on Regional integrations; 9, Skills and jobs in the digital economy; the 10th is in Business uptake, entrepreneurship, and digital content.  Chapter 11 is on eHealth.  Chapter 12 is Digital government.  13 on Consumer protection and eCommerce; Digital security -- and the 14th in Digital security and risk management, and the 15th on Privacy protection.

So that's a lot.  That is why it makes 500 pages almost, 15 chapters, and here it is.

So we did two launches, as I said.  Our Secretary General launched it in Cancun, and our ministerial, it was a very well attended launch with many countries from the regional there present, and then we had a second launch to launch the Spanish version of this toolkit just a few weeks ago in Buenos Aires in the dialogue for Internet Society and the IDB.

The next steps that we're currently working on is in the production of a website.  This is already up and running, but we are still populating it.  The idea is having videos explaining and introducing each one of the chapters, what we're calling online as modules, and we are moving forward with the dissemination of this material, so here in the IGF it's one of them.  We have a meeting next year and a ministerial meeting of the IDB,  and today the objective is a handful of ones.  It's to discuss with the broader IGF community the challenges identified in toolkit, it's also bringing insights how it could be improved, and the thoughts forward on the region, to implement the good practices that have been identified in the toolkit.

And we selected a few questions.  Those would be three questions in total.  I will invite our speakers first to comment on them, if they'd like to do so, and also we'll open the floor for other participants that want to share their thoughts on this.

So maybe we could start with Commissioner Estavillo.

>> MARIA HELENA ESTAVILLO:  (Speaking non-English language)

It's a pleasure to be here commenting on this toolkit.  This is a very ambitious work, and I was -- I was so interested reading about all these experiences in Latin America.  It is certainly very useful to hear about how other countries with the same kind of challenges are facing this -- well, all these kinds of subjects.  This is very ample, and it reflects on these 500 pages that we're talking about.

On this question about which could be the most important chapter, it is really very difficult to say because all the subjects have interrelations, but I got to choose one, and it is about bottlenecks, bottlenecks for deployment of the infrastructure.  I find that this chapter talks about the core of the challenges that we are facing.  I relate to the situation in Mexico where the deployment of infrastructure has to do with regulation, local, federal regulation, which is sometimes very difficult to cope with.  We have many, many different ways of regulating deployment at the local level, and it's -- so the problem of coordination and negotiation with local governments is very important, and this chapter talks not only about this these kind of challenges but also some other kinds of bottlenecks that are more related to competition and to regulation of access to wholesale services, so I believe that this -- for me, this is the core -- the core of our challenge to how to make -- to make it easier to the carriers to deploy their networks, how to make it more efficient to use the networks that are already in use that have capacity for bringing more services to the people.

So I -- we are -- in fact, in Mexico recently, we have been very busy regulating and mandating access to wholesale services, so this is very close to us.  We have very recently, in fact, other access to unbundled wholesale services and other kinds of services, as is the passive infrastructure, but we are now looking at these issues with local governments with deployment, which one could say that should be easier to cope with, but it is not.  It is not really in -- when we go to the -- the problems that carriers face every day just to get access to -- to right -- to access rights -- to rights-of-way, and it has been very interesting to look at the different efforts that has -- that all other countries are doing to get this done.

So it is -- I want to end this part only with -- recognizing this effort.  This is -- this is a very useful handbook, and certainly, we are looking at all of these experiences by other countries to -- that will certainly help us enhance this access of people to the services.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much.  Maybe now we can give the floor to Bruno Ramos.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: Thank you so much.  It's a pleasure to be here with you.  Thank you very much for the invitation.

So first of all, I think it's an excellent work.  So for us, it's -- we are working with the Broadband Commission and the ITU, with UNESCO, and we are also doing some publications on that, but it's excellent work, and it's a good material to provide countries with the experiences of other countries.

But for me, just going directly to the point, understanding the region, I think the studies are very, you know, good for some people.  The problem is try to, you know, sit with each country, to try to talk to them and try to internalize the toolkit.  It's not only to, you know, spread the toolkits in the countries.  In my opinion, for sure, it would be difficult for them to use.  I think right now, after this toolkit, I think the next step should be, you know, have special talks with each country to see the specificities of each one and try to, you know, accommodate the points in toolkit on the specificities of each country.  I think it's the main point.

So in my experiences, we have a lot of, you know, studies, we have a lot of proposals, but each country has its own way to implement things.  They have legal problems.  The Congress of each country has, you know, the priorities on the infrastructure sector, not only telecommunication but energy and the other ones, so in this sense, I think right now we should work with them, each one, to see what we can, you know, get from the work, from this toolkit, and try to help them implementing the ideas, and I think it's not a work only of the OECD or IDB or for other institutions also, so just to sit with each one and try to see how we can use the experiences based on the countries' experiences.  That's my first feelings, okay.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much, Bruno.  Could you maybe bring the perspective of the Internet Society into the discussion?

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA: Thank you very much. Good morning to everyone.  Thank you for having us here.  This is, I think -- I don't know, my second or third panel on this topic, and I really like it.  I mean, I'm really grateful for keeping -- for keeping me getting invited.

I think the work you did is a very important one.  You put together a lot of information that is around, and you researched it a lot and you present it in a good way, and it's going to be become even better with the micro website you're producing, which is absolutely great, so congratulations on -- for that.  It's been a really, really remarkable job, the one that you did.

I think one of the most important things that you accomplished is that you look at both sides of the equation, supply and demand, and that's quite important, and I don't know if I have a report like that in my hands.  I mean, if I had it in the past.  I think it's really good.

And I think the key element of the toolkit in general is that even though you -- there is no direct solutions that you provide that you remark the -- the important thing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, I mean, you have to work your economy, you have to work your own country in order to accommodate these things to your reality.

In general, I think we -- from the Internet Society, we agree on three big trends that are important to -- also to remark about the drivers of the digital economy and the drivers of the deployment of the Internet connectivity in general.

First, that we don't want to deploy technology for the technology sake, we just want to improve the life of our people, and that's the important thing.  I mean, it's not just about the plain technology, we want to change -- I mean, we strongly believe in all the benefits that these technologies bring to our people, and we will -- our last final goal objective is to get our people better, and that's quite important.

And three, things that you remarked that I think it's -- this is a minor comment.  One is there's three issues that are driving the access to the Internet today.  One is affordability, and it's something that is -- that deserves a good comment on that.  I mean, in many of our countries, the Internet connections are still too expensive for people.

The second, and I think it's as important as the first one, is relevance.  You need -- and people need an Internet connection for doing something that is relevant to them.  I mean, we need to embed with relevance the Internet -- the connection that we bring to our people.

And the third that is a new trend in our perspective, recently new, is the trust issue, and you deserve -- I mean, you put some comments on that.  I mean, we also need to build a network that is trusted by the people, and that's something that is not trivial because as we see it, we are going the other way around.  I mean, people -- the trend today is people are distrusting a little bit more than trusting the Internet because of the security incidents and all the things that we know, so we have to look a lot on these three access.  That's my first comment.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much.  Yes, I think Sebastian's hitting the record because he's been in the two launches of the toolkit and now in the first workshop.  Thank you very much for continuing joining us.

Now Christoph Steck, if you'd like to.

>> CHRISTOPH STECK: Yes, good morning.  Thank you for the invitation, and congratulations to the OECD for this excellent report.  A lot of things have been said and a lot of good things that we totally agree to, especially what Sebastian just said about the complexity of demand and supply issues and put them in a good way and relevant way for us, and I think the report, that's a really good job here.

I believe that what I would maybe point out as one of the most relevant issues is the impact of policy and regulation and cost and all of that.  I mean, we know that what the report is saying about getting to a better regulation, not necessarily a regulation which is basically more focused on how to get investments into the countries and not to make basically services more expensive, which is what's happening currently a lot, as -- is I think the right approach.  So Latin America today, on the mobile side, has an excellent infrastructure already, I have to say.  I mean, if you look -- there's an interesting report providing an overview about all infrastructures that America has in comparison to other developed countries, and, I mean, the one who sticks out is really the mobile infrastructure.

You can say today, in place like Mexico today, we use here the same Mobilstar 4G network.  We have the same technology in Berlin, so there's no difference.  That's not necessarily the case for whatever, airports and all other kinds of infrastructures we see, so I think that's a key issue.  I think Latin America has done a huge jump in the last maybe ten years to get really a world-class infrastructure, but more needs to be done, and I think what we are struggling with -- and this is a point I would like to take up from Sebastian.  I think affordability is an interesting issue, an important issue to discuss, but as I just said, I mean, very often when you say affordability, people say well, that's just the operator charging too much, that's easy.  You know, the price has to come down by regulation, and I think we have to go deeper into that problem.  I think we have to say that, for example, the issue of taxation of a lot of services, not just the service side but also the devices, they're still very much priced as luxury goods, and they should not be priced like that, or taxed like that, sorry, not priced, taxed like that.

Other issues, around spectrum licenses, so on and so forth, so I think we have to go deeper into that issue to understand what's going on.

I can tell you, for us, as operators, it's challenging because as I said, we have the same investments, we treat our customers no different than the customers we have in Germany, from where I come from, but at the same time, the overall income, the GDP is much lower in Latin America, so you have to provide the same quality of services, same investment, with two people who cannot afford to spend the same money, and we're thinking a lot about it.

I think in Latin America, we have invented interesting things like daily allowances to get to the Internet so you can buy Internet access on a daily basis.  We don't have that in other countries.  We have to invent it basically as a tariff innovation for people who don't need every day the Internet but would like to get the possibility to access the full Internet and these kind much things, so I think we have to go more down that route.  There might be a chance for subsidies in certain parts as well because it's difficult to get full Internet access for $2 a day -- or $2 a month, sorry.  It's difficult to get there.  We already are at $1 a day, so, I mean, that's the current price.

So I think that's where we have to work more on.

Just to finalize, what I believe where we could do more, what's missing, be more specific about what the policy change could look like.  I mean, how do you really -- you speak about horizon regulation, level playing field, modernization of regulation, but what does that exactly mean?  I mean, we just heard about trust issues, so it cannot mean that we totally deregulate everything, but it can also maybe not mean that we should regulate one part of the chain very heavily and the other part not at all, so we have to find an equilibrium which would be maybe better from a consumer perspective.  What is the right regulation?  I think that would be a key to work on.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you.  Yes.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: May I?  Yeah.  Just to stimulate the discussions, I think it's a panel that -- I think also we should, at least hear from you about affordability and the other topics in the toolkit.  I think we should also try to see what the countries want, so I think we are experts, so we are, you know, studying this, we are trying to provide a lot of information, but, you know, we need also to see what are the ideas of the countries, what they are thinking, just to, you know, give you the information, to -- next year we do have the development conference of the ITU in October, so all the countries of the region right now, they are discussing about the regional initiatives, what they want for them for the next four years, so they are talking about -- so what will be our priorities, so in the point of view of the countries.

So in the -- they are proposing five draft regional initiatives to be approved during the conference, but I can say that two of them are very important.  One is broadband, so to increase broadband for all.  I think it's one of the regional initiatives that will, you know, direct our work of the ITU and also in cooperation and coordination with other institutions and organizations.

And the second one is accessibility and affordability.  So just to say that -- it's not only what the experts think about it, but the countries are, you know, expecting to implement in their part also some priorities in the region, so one priority is to give broadband to all, to increase the services and also to include people in the communication in the ICTs and also to try to get ICTs affordable for everybody, just to, you know, give you this information.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you, Bruno.  I think we can come back to that point when we discuss Question 3, which is specifically on regional integration, but that's a very relevant point.

So we heard from Christoph Steck the view of the private sector, of an operator, and now I'd like to invite Gonzalo Navarro, who is the executive director of Latin American Association of Internet, ALAI, to provide also the views of private sector but a slightly different perspective, maybe..

>> GONZALO NAVARRO: Thank you very much for the invitation, but apologies for being a little late.

Well, Lorrayne, you have put some interesting questions.  First of all, regarding whether the -- the takeaways from the toolkit, I would like to say this is really a first step and approach in the Latin American region.  I mean, the toolkit is dealing with so many issues that were not precisely connected in Latin America before, that it's a really good alternative, not just for the private sector or for governments but for all stakeholders in the region.  That's my first analysis or approach on the toolkit.

If I have to pick one chapter, as Kristoff said, I think the regulatory chapter is probably the most important and interesting for us.  I mean, that's the Latin American Association or members of the private sector and companies providing services on Internet.

And I say that because it's important, not just for us but for the entire ecosystem to understand what is at stake for the regulations that we might face, perhaps we might not face in Latin America, and what is the importance of regulation to not only to deploy broadband services and capabilities in Latin America but also services that are provided on Internet in Latin America.

I mean, Internet is not just infrastructure, not just the companies that are providing services, it's an entire ecosystem, so when you deal with some parts of the equation, probably you will have some effects in the rest of the ecosystem, and that's one approach that we need to have or keep in mind.  So again, I agree with Christoph.  This probably is the most important chapter in -- for the analysis, not just for the present but for the future.

I think that provides very good information and analysis on what are the -- probably the most important elements on the regulatory field that we are dealing with nowadays in Latin America and probably we will face during the next years, so that's my takeaway -- my take on what's the most important element among the chapters.

Regarding the second question that you sent -- let me see -- ah, what we are missing.  Well, we are --

>> (Off microphone)

>> GONZALO NAVARRO: Sorry.  I had a Red Bull for breakfast, so I'll talk a little bit later.  So that's my first reaction, and let's wait for the second question.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you, Gonzalo.

And now we go to Alexandre Barbosa from CETIC.

>> ALEXANDRE BARBOSA: Thank you, Lorrayne.  Good morning, everyone.  Buenos Dias.  It's a great pleasure to be here with you because I followed the instructions of this toolkit, and I know how much effort OECD has put into this and personally, you have put a lot of effort, and I agree with Gonzalo that this is -- as far as I know, the very first piece of work that tries to give a very comprehensive view on the situation of the broadband in Latin America.  We don't have such in-depth analysis as the one -- (Loud noise) -- OECD has just published.

I would like to join my colleagues, previous speakers, to agree with the points that they highlighted already, and I also tried to identify the main message that I could abstract from this toolkit and the regulatory framework is extremely crucial, coordination mechanisms, and you touch a very important issue of the stakeholder mechanism that countries should put in place to help policymakers to design more effective policies and also to monitor, but -- and also the affordability issue, and this is very important when we have ITU and UNESCO in and the Broadband Commission stating the crucial role of broadband in the socioeconomic development for nations, so this is extremely important for the affordability issues.

But I would like to touch one specific aspect that is, I would say, in if almost every chapter of the toolkit, which is measurement and monitoring.  Data collection and reporting is extremely important for policymaking, and I always -- well, I come from the measurement side, so I could not leave this behind, and I usually say that there is a gap between policymaking and policy decisions and what happens in our real life, and this toolkit I guess for me tries to bridge this gap by providing such wonderful case studies and best practice and highlighting I would say almost a checklist of what policy-makers should follow to produce effective policies, so measurement is extremely important and having ICT related statistics like broadband, access news, and appropriation of all these ICTs, to me it's essential in every single stage of the policymaking process.

If you have a policy that cannot be measured, I would say it's not a good policy.  We have to have data, and knowing this the situation --

(Loud speaker announcement)

(Laughter)

-- knowing the ICT-related statistical production in the region, I would say that this is a big gap that countries need to face.  We do have most of the countries in the region according to U.N. ECLAC, about 80% of the countries in region, they produce basic statistics, like broadband penetration, but this is not surveys in terms of the demand-side statistics, so we do have to raise awareness among policymakers, not only to produce data, but also as you mentioned in several chapters about the need of coordination, because this is agenda is a cross-horizon type of approach.

(Loud speaker announcement)

And what we see in many countries, including the country that I come from, Brazil, we do have broadband policies, for instance, in many countries in the region they do, but not necessarily they are integrated with different sectors, like education, health, eGovernment, eCommerce, so this is a very important aspect that the toolkit highlights, the need of measurement.

And in that particular issue, I think that when you ask what's missing, well, the toolkit is very comprehensive.  It's extremely good and in-depth analysis and a lot of rich cases.

I would say that from the next step, having this -- such available toolkit, OECD, along with countries, should try to conduct workshops, for instance, in capacity building on how to use those best practices, not only from the region but also from outside in order to design better and more effective policies.

So the message that you give in this toolkit of -- the importance of data collection and monitoring is extremely important, not to say other areas --

(Loud speaker announcement)

-- which is in a different level of appropriation, in the level of appropriation, not only having access, so I will stop here but measurement to me is a very important aspect that is highlighted in the toolkit.  Thank you.

>> CHRISTOPH STECK: One second, because it fits to that.  I think you're right.  Especially when we speak about the demand side of the whole equation.  I mean, you mentioned broadband information is measured, and that's true.  We could maybe better do it, but the whole piece of innovation, of local content, of skills, we are missing a lot of data there.  It's just not available.  No one is really looking into it in a good way.  I mean, Telefonica has done with a couple of university studies, and we call it Telefonica of Digital Life, and this is the first try.  We have to go if further down.  I totally agree.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you.  I was hoping that Alexandre would talk on a point of measurement.  There was something very essential to us in the toolkit.  The fact that we identified indicators and measurement tools in each one of the policy chapters is -- is not a coincidence, as evidence-based organizations, we need statistics to see if you are putting in place sound policies or not, so statistics are crucial to make sure you're monitoring policies.

I'll open the floor now to any other person who'd like to -- to provide any ideas on what are the main takeaways of the toolkit.

Okay.  So we'll move to Question Number 2.  I think those two questions were meshed and a few speakers already answered them, so if you could choose one chapter to be prioritized for policy action in '17 and '18, what would it be?  The idea here is to really understand, well, budgets are constrained.  The toolkit is very broad and touches many areas, and if some chapter, one chapter or two, could be prioritized, what would that be?  Anyone care to -- yeah, I think you sort of have spoken about that, the regulatory, you know, but maybe we can delve into that more further.

>> CHRISTOPH STECK: Yeah, just to start.  I would go further and say the spectrum part was very interesting, because, honestly, I mean, I'm working a lot on that but the one thing I struck when I read the report was the amount of spectrum, which is not available in Latin America.  I mean, when you look at the comparison, again, about data, the comparison of how much spectrum is given for mobile, broadband services in Latin America compared to other OECD countries, for example, you're around 50% to 60% in Latin America in comparison to others, and we're far away from the ITU guidelines which go for even 2022 for even more spectrum, and what does it mean for people who are not so familiar with spectrum, which I suppose a lot of you are not.  You're using frequency ranges for television services, for satellite services and for mobile connectivity services, and mobile is going to be the technology for Latin America or maybe for the world, but for sure Latin America.

There will be a road for fiber in the mobile, that means connecting antennas with fiber, but the access part will be through mobile networks, 4G and 5G, so I believe that this is really a very specific technical but very crucial area where I think the governments have to do their homework.  It cannot be that, you know, the countries in Latin America have around 50%, 60% of the spectrum license today for mobile broadband in comparison to other OECD countries.  I mean, that's an issue which in the end reflects on less coverage, more cost, higher cost of services.  I mean, it goes through the whole value end of the shared services, so that will be my key issue to focus on.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Okay.  Sebastian.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Okay.  Thank you.  I would say for me the most important one is Chapter 1.  Chapter 1 says clearly, I mean, broadband is crucial for socioeconomic development.  I mean, that is, for me, the key.  I mean, being the first paragraph of the whole toolkit is a good thing.

But if I have to prioritize one in terms of policy, I will vote for Chapter 9.  Chapter 9 is the Skills and jobs in the digital economy, and I think we have -- I mean, the only way that we're going to capitalize on these new things that are happening, I mean, all these opportunities that are being created is if we are able to transform ourselves into a member of the digital -- of this new digital economy, and the only thing to -- way to do that is through educating our people in order to capture all the opportunities and capture all the benefits that this new economy or digital economy or Internet economy, whatever it's called, will bring us.  So we'll go deeply into Chapter 9, Skills and jobs in the digital economy.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you.  Alexandre.

>> ALEXANDRE BARBOSA: Thank you, Lorrayne. These are really difficult questions.  I tried to capture one important chapter, but I agree with Sebastian, that Chapter 9 is very important.  But before that, considering the reality in the countries in the region, if you take Brazil and even Mexico, we have a lot of disparities.  If you take south of Brazil, we may have 70% of broad, but when you go to the north, it's 28% of households connected, so I selected Chapter 5 and 6 because I think they are very much correlated.  Chapter 5 is Extending broadband access and services.  That gives a lot of inputs for policymaking decisions, like encourage private investment, to expand the broadband access, so when the critical -- in Brazil we have the broadband plan that has a very important initiative in the back -- backbone -- the national backbone, but we still have issues to the -- this is a very important issue.

Also affordability, quality of service.  It is very important talking about data collection, having reliable data on real speed of broadband is an issue for many countries, and in Chapter 6, it's very much correlated with Chapter 5, which is Affordability, government charges, and digital inclusion.  In order to have or to reach, achieve no-one-left-behind premises, this is very important.

So before discussing this, which is really important, we have to solve the access issues in our countries, especially in the remote areas, rural areas in Brazil.  There's a huge gap between urban and rural areas in the countries, so if you don't solve or bridge these gaps, it's going to be very difficult to achieve the promise of the Broadband Commission that broadband is a crucial component in the economic development for nations and the no-one-left-behind premises.

And, again, we have in Brazil, a huge phenomena of the mobile access for the low-income population where they have access to the Internet via 3G or 4G smartphones, but that's the only device to access, and this poses a huge challenge in terms of data literacy, to develop real ICT skills needed for the marketplace, et cetera.  This is going to be a barrier; whereas, we have in higher- and middle-income households, multiple devices, broadband Internet, not only smartphone, so Chapter 5 and 6 for me is extremely important.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much.  Bruno.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: It's impossible to say.  Depends -- depends on the institution so that -- you were talking about.  If you are talking about a regulator, maybe you can find -- we can wait, Maria, to say something about it, but if you're talking about the Civil Society, if you're talking about some capacity-building organizations, if you're talking about multilateral agencies, so it depends.

My personal feel is about competition, you know, so -- but for sure all of the other chapters are interconnected.  Why are I'm -- I have this special -- how can I say? -- interest about competition?  Because I work for a regulator, you know.  I know the tough life that they have just to regulate and just to try to organize the market, trying to implement the public policies, so if you go to aspects, the government, you know, puts the public policies where and when the country will have a specific ICT solution and regulator try and do their best to implement it.

And I think competition -- to stimulate competition, to have more competitors, I think it's one way to have more quality, more skills, you know, less cost, so a lot of things, and if not, so we -- we can take the example of Mexico here.  So Mexico did a huge modification in the Constitution, in laws, et cetera, just to stimulate competition, so I will -- I think you have a lot of things to say to us with more your experience, but for me, it's two things.  One, it's impossible to respond to your question because it depends on each sector, each institution, but in my personal view, thinking about the regulator, maybe competition should be one thing that they should stimulate first.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Gonzalo.

>> GONZALO NAVARRO: Thank you.  I was just trying to say that I cover all my three questions with the intervention, so let me try to organize the ideas that I was trying to present.

Well, if I look at the entire document, all and each chapter is interesting by itself.  They all have information and data that is super available, as Alexandra said, but if I have to choose one, I think that Chapter 2 is the link among different chapters, because if you talk about regulation, probably you will be talking about the spectrum policies that you are going to be implementing in the future to increase competition among different actors, so -- and if you see Chapter 7, for example, in terms of convergence of different services, probably you will need to think about what are the regulatory framework that you need or you may not need in the future in order to address that issue.

For example, in our region, Argentina is in this effort of putting -- putting out a convergence level.  Mexico did it in the past, and so other countries are in a similar way, and we will see that in the future.

In terms of Internet -- regional integration, obviously it's important to have some common understandings about what's important in terms of regulatory issues emerging in the region, where to put the accent or even when to put where regulation is not going to be necessary anymore in order to foster regulation and foster new business and models and services in if the region, so, again, I think that Chapter 2 is the link, but you have direct impacts in different chapters in the text.

And a final word.  I think that -- and what I like the most about this report is that you are -- start with the most important issues, you know, regulatory issues, and then you developed the rest of the chapters following that trend, and at the end, you -- probably you were thinking about what are the -- going to be the issues for the future.  Then you have that data, protection, consumer choice, and some other -- eHealth and topics that for us in the region, probably we are talking about future, but they're a reality in other parts of the world, which is important, and, again, are linked and connected by the regulatory Chapter Number 2.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much.  It's interesting because some people chose a chapter on regulatory issues, Bruno and Estavillo chose the chapter on Competition and infrastructure bottlenecks, Alexandre chose chapter 5 and 6, Sebastian chose Chapter 1 -- or 9, Skills, and he also said 1 was important, and here Gonzalo is saying Chapter 2 is linking all of them but that several others are important, and Bruno is saying that it's impossible to choose, which, actually, makes me quite happy because we were asked several times by our publications people, are you sure you cannot remove any chapter, 500 pages is way too long, and I'm pleased we actually kept all of them because those issues are interconnected and they're all very important, so thank you for your comments in that sense.

Is anyone here -- does anyone here want to share their thoughts on a specific thing that was discussed here?  Yes.

>> MARIA HELENA ESTAVILLO:  Yes.  Thank you.  One thing that I believe it's also very important is to consider that we -- in our region we have many different needs and situations.  I think about Mexico.  Mexico is a country with wide differences, so it brings many -- the need for having many different approaches to cope with problems.  For example, in urban areas, we have enough coverage of services.  We're thinking about bringing good quality of services in indoor, outdoor.  These are interests more related to what developed countries are doing.

(Loud speaker announcement)

But also we have many places where we don't have basic services, and we have to also be worried about literacy issues.  Also from the demand point of view, it's not only a question of offering services but of getting people to use the services and to use it -- use them in a way that can enhance their life economically or educationally, so we have a mixture of challenges that we have to address with different strategies, and I see a lot of basic strategies in all this toolkit in different chapters, and maybe it's -- it's part of the job that we have to make as regulators to choose to study the better strategies for each of the challenges that we're facing.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

It's -- now we can move to Question Number 3, and I'll put it in the screen.

So what are the -- oops.  I went back.

So the Chapter 3 -- the Question 3 is actually on regional integration, and the reason why we chose this question was we believe the regions are in a very important moment of inflection of rethinking how to actually carry out the regional integration.  Bruno mentioned a few initiatives, and the question is exactly that, how can we harness regional integration or regional initiatives to implement some of these good practices identified as, what Bruno is saying, right now is the moment where you actually need to go to the countries and talk to them to how can you implement these good practices which are identified.

And here it just has more parentheses.  We use the word "good practices" throughout the toolkit, and it's -- it's a thought decision.  The idea was not to put together recommendations as usually the OECD does, but rather to identify good practices that could be shared, and since those were identified, how can we now move next to -- to implementing it and actually harnessing the structures which are already there?

We have a whole chapter on regional integration, and the idea was to identify the multiple initiatives and platforms that already exist.  There's a lot of repeated roles sometimes in the region, as we identify and we do a table to see what initiatives are there and what (Off microphone)

And the idea is to -- okay.  So we have -- we have this this structure of several regional initiatives and how can we use that, how can we build on that to implement what was identified as good practices.

Yes.  Sure.  Sebastian, please.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Okay.  Just a short answer because I think we have a -- we're running out of time on that.  I think the question is that we have to change one component of the question.  I will make -- put more emphasis on regional collaboration instead of integration.  I mean -- and I think collaboration is the key instead of integration.  Integration is something that comes after you start collaborating.  I mean, and you develop collaboration channels.  I will say collaboration is key.  Integration will come eventually.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you.  Yes, Gonzalo, please.

>> GONZALO NAVARRO: Well, thank you.  I agree with Sebastian, and -- because we have seen so many efforts in it the past in the region in order to have spaces of integration that actually didn't work in the way that they were planned, but the good thing about this report and the information that it's provide something now we have the identification of some of the elements that we need to work on to put --

(Loud speaker announcement)

-- in collaboration.  We need to identify the regulatory  -- at the regulatory level, and I'm convinced that the only way that Latin America is going to pull out some collaboratory spaces is by identification of small steps and some of the elements that are the most important in order to bring a serious development of the digital economy in Latin America, so this is a really good first effort and probably we will see it more

(Loud speaker announcement)

Again, more elements in some of the regional areas that are surely working with the expectation of information that is coming out of this report, and I mean there is going to be an important space in the future.  The one has been there for a while, and I'm sure that it's following the information that you're providing and the elements that you have identified in this report, so, again, I think that we are -- we are -- we are just at the top of the iceberg here, and probably more work will be coming in the future.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much, Gonzalo. Alexandre.

>> ALEXANDRE BARBOSA: Thank you, Lorrayne.  Well, I do agree with the previous speakers, and eLAC is one of the mechanisms we have in the region.  For those that are not from the region, eLAC is the Digital Agenda for the Latin and the Caribbean, and Mexico is the president of the eLAC.  We had the last ministerial, I guess it was last year, two years ago, and we have also other forums, like even ITU could play an important role in this collaboration, as was mentioned by Sebastian.  I think the first step is collaboration rather than integration.  Integration is a consequence, and to have evidence-based policymaking as a reality in the region, again, I would like to mention about the importance of having data and comparable data.

It's very important that eLAC has a recommendation on data collection that following international standards, so to have a real picture of the region and to have data as a basis of this dialogue, we have to follow international standards from ITU, the partnership, OECD so that we can have a more global view of the region based on measurement, so this is my main initial thoughts on this question.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Christoph.

>> CHRISTOPH STECK: Yes.  First off, I think it's important that all the regional agencies -- and there are a couple, as we know, have the digital part on their agenda.  I mean, that's the first step, and that's a key step.  I mean, five years ago no one was looking at the digital space at all.  I mean, they were thinking about other things but not really so much at the digital part, so I think that's the first step.

And the second is, I mean, what can you do in Latin America, and it's true that Latin America, for example, has currently launched an idea of a digital single market in Latin America, and some of the -- some people are talking about that.

I mean, the idea stems from Europe where we are talking about a single digital market inside the European Union, and I think that makes sense in a sense that we're trying to have a common market between all the 27 Member States in Europe.

Having said that, I mean, Latin America, despite the differences of markets, despite the differences of views, there are common challenges, and you've seen the report by the OECD exactly that there are common challenges and maybe to work together on solutions to find best practices, to share these experiences, to cooperate I think is a good idea and should be strengthened.  As I said, who will do that, I don't know who else, it's actually to be seen.  That's not so important.  The important thing is that it's done.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you, Christoph.  Estavillo.

>> MARIA HELENA ESTAVILLO: I want to share a very particular action that I believe there is an opportunity to collaborate, work together, and it's the demand side, one of the challenges that we face is that very few local content for the people who relate with, and since most of the countries speak Spanish, this -- I believe there is a great opportunity to work together to foster the production of Spanish local content, and this would make for an incentive to the people to find the usefulness of getting in Internet, and this local content is oriented for -- for health services, for economic opportunities, commerce, et cetera, and I believe that we have a great opportunity there.

We -- the Spanish is the second language in its economic value, so I -- I see there a great opportunity for collaboration.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much.  We'll go now to Bruno.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: The international environment is very difficult, you know, because we participate in a lot of forums, the governments also, the Civil Society.  One of them is the IGF that we are here discussing about the governance of the Internet, et cetera, but for me, I think seeing the region that we don't have the same mechanisms of Europe, for instance, just to, you know, spread the public policies and also the regulation, we don't have the enforcement to do that, et cetera, I -- and I return to my first talk here that we need to talk to each country to see its needs.  The internalization of this is very difficult in all of the countries, so to be sure that we have a sector that is following the discussions, we are trying to do something, but when you talk to the big part of the technical part of the countries, it's very difficult because they are more focusing on internal problems, so they have to, you know -- every day they have to (Off microphone) just to do the things like that, so (Off microphone)

(Technical difficulties - lost audio at 10:49 a.m. CT)

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