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IGF 2017 - Day 1 - Room XXI - WS4 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Roundtable: Are we running out of resources and bandwidth?

 

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. 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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>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  My name is Tracy Hackshaw.  And I'm moderating today's session.  The organizers for this session is the Trinidad and Tobago Chapter. 

(Speaking around computer)

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Unfortunately we seem very predicted despite after that Roundtable we had.  We had several Caribbean islands.  Several of them were affected by natural disasters which leads to this year's Roundtable resources.  The question is a very interesting one.  One of the things that we ask in our countries is with our resources.  For many of us in small island states, many of of our resources are limited.  So they go to the U.S. or Europe.  So we've educated them in the country and out of the country.  Our resources are in that community is challenged. 

On the flip side of that, some of our operators have (?) Are very challenged providing necessary balance of resources.  So it's actually due to the capacity of the economy.  The question is a very ‑‑ are we running to allow us to optimize what we have in our countries.  It's important in society actually.  We have one of the architects of the report, one of the scribes.  She will also provide some insights from across the board from the study of Small Island Developing States.  What I wanted to say, it is open for all to discuss.  I just want to ask our discussants to respond to the opening.  I ask my Pacific colleague to respond to the comment on the (?) It's possible for this.

>> PARTICIPANT:  (Too Low to Hear).

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  This is my colleague from the Internet Society.  Perhaps you can ‑‑

>> PARTICIPANT:  Sorry. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  While we have some silence ‑‑

>> PARTICIPANT:  Thank you, everyone.  The Internet Society is a bunch of Small Island Developing States it is as well as a key focus because of the specific nature of SIDS and specifically with the SIDS chapters and colleagues for a community interest. 

As Tracy was saying, are resources going away?  I don't think so.  There are ways we can leverage those resources better.  One aspect is with the development organizes and banks and loans.  It costs them as much as.

(Whispering around computer microphone).

>> PARTICIPANT:  If you're looking for competing ‑‑ there's a way.

>> PARTICIPANT:  (Too Low to Hear) and other institutions.  The importance of having peer review is to take people who are doing these studies.  Years ago when I used to do communications work in developing countries, I would posit, why aren't we trying to connect with each other more?  So we have distance, small complications on the islands. 

And so as Tracy is from Trinidad and I'm from Cook Islands.  Others are agriculturally (?) By having better ‑‑ I think that's just the logical step to take.  What is this ‑‑ so some of the different findings, factors.  Wasn't it ‑‑ if you don't have ‑‑ you're sending (Too Low to Hear) (Laughing).  He's here.  He's an amazing person.  We come behind. 

Also it helped with different technological factors.  (Too Low to Hear) right.  You don't ‑‑ we talked about the expense.  But I've seen some  (Too Low to Hear) those are expensive.  From a regulatory perspective in your country, how is that traffic holding up ‑‑ where there's tourism and government resources, education, health, financial institutions. 

What I want to leave you with ‑‑ I'm not sure if anyone is from (?) There's a great story about a community network which is about a wireless Wi‑Fi that is developed in one of the islands.  There was a case ‑‑ there was very little health sources available.  They were trying to promote health.  They ended up doing a number through community networks.  There were regulatory ‑‑ (Too Low to Hear) trying to figure out how you can create.  There's a session tomorrow.  (Too Low to Hear) I'm there to tell you about community networks. 

(Cell phone vibrating).

>> PARTICIPANT:  We found that education ‑‑ it was in the last panel.  The question is what is that between literacy going to be?  The report's online available to all of you.  (Audio Connection Difficulty).

>> PARTICIPANT: ‑‑ a bit more context.  The U.S. University of South Pacific net houses, the regional organization repositories, including climate change, databases, the Pacific Island University Network.  Also ‑‑ I'm not sure if you've heard of Research Education Network.  In Oceania you only have Australia that has network in New Zealand.  It's how some use the infrastructure backbone. 

In terms of resources ‑‑ there are so many more which I won't go into.  There's about 10 or 11 completely complex information repositories that the regions and regional organizations depend on. 

Based on the infrastructure pool, Tracy's question is a valid one.  There are fewer resource constraints.  Connecting it to Jane's report and one of the major challenges is the liberalizations.  The Pacific Oceania is 27 countries and territories that have country code top level domains.  So the definition of SIDS countries that work in the union.  We don't want to exclude the 27 countries and territories. 

It has been said that the most expensive Internet is from this part of the world and Pacific.  We have the world's largest, collectively, exclusive economic donor.  You might have heard of a small state called (?) Last year we had a representative from ISOC, a young ambassador.  He talked about the plight of the country.  They have serious resource constraints. 

Countries like Solomon Islands where the average person finds it very difficult to accept the Internet even like ‑‑ because the cost of chicken is $80.  It's easier to buy a can of tuna.  That's 80 Solomon dollars.  You have issues like economic issues in context. These are some sorts of challenges, economic challenges that really affects accessibility.  The country I was in a few days ago that hosted the Pacific internet governance forum this year, Internet access earlier this year was horrible and shocking in terms of the cost.  I truly spend about $300 on two gigs, which is crazy, right?  It's just crazy. 

One of the reasons for that is the competition infrastructure landscape.  You have one of the operators that control the monopoly.  So the telecos on the second tier were impacted and won't bear the costs and the costs are down to the consumers.  One of the things that happened through IGF they gave some recommendations which was how the regulator was thinking.  They slapped a price gap on the provider that had the monopoly. 

When I went back this time around, I was happy to find Internet was much cheaper than what I paid last time for crap Internet.  The regulator got suspended and the political issues in the Pacific, you have a lot of politicalization of the process.  I will let Maureen and Andrew share some of their thoughts. 

>> ANJU MANGAL:  We'll give introduction and we'll ‑‑ I introduced (?) To the Roundtable.  Any thoughts on specifically the issues with resource utilization in countries like ourselves, like developing countries and developing states in particular, and how best we can improve that resource capture.  As you heard, the idea in the Pacific provides recommendations.  Maybe it's an opportunity for many youth ideas from fellows in this room to provide some recommendations to how we as small developing states can better utilize our resources. 

Many of you are in school.  Many of you are graduating or just graduated from universities elsewhere in the world.  (?) Those are the kind of things that we wanted to ask.  What do you think about these issues and how best can you help home countries in terms of the Internet economy?  It's a roundtable.  Feel free to jump in.  A Roundtable member wants to jump in.  Feel free. 

>> My name is (?) It's very far from your countries.  But why I am here because in our part we have what we call ACP, African Caribbean and Pacific countries press club because the union of the journalists around Africa Caribbean Pacific.  It's a great resource.  It's there is a greater possibility on improving the resource mobilization, how we can mobilize the resources, how we can utilize Internet and various resources around the world that we can utilize in our little country, that is Africa Caribbean and Pacific. 

If you can visit the website of ACP press club countries which is, of course is based on (?) But it is under the support of European Union.  There is a greater possibility that you will maybe see some of your friends, some of your colleagues who are members of that ACP press club.  We really look the same because we're coming from developing countries, and we have the same problem with the same challenges.  And we might have the same approach to solving this problem, although but not exactly the same, how we can use the various options we have.  So I feel very much happy and principally privileged today and be with the people from the same global network.  Thank you so much. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Is there anything else from the floor? 

>> JANE COFFIN:  One thing I didn't mention and I'll speak slowly for the scribes.  Yesterday I was supposed to help Sala out and talk about the ITU, the International Telecommunication Union, and some of their resources.  The ITU pays specific attention and I don't know if the rep is here.  They're working on reports about the topics.  All of their resolutions related to development make a specific reference to SIDS and LLDC. 

If you're from a small developing state and you go to these big meetings or if you have a representative from your region, often the Caribbean will send one country to represent the Caribbean in order to maximize their resources.  There is a focus pay on SIDS themselves in order to maximize resources.  So find your ITU people that go and try to encourage them to make special references, get special concessions so you can bring them.  I don't know how effective they are on the ground.  I think it would be useful to talk to the ITU about funding that they have for SIDS. 

You can also talk to ‑‑ we have PICISOP.  Maureen is from our chapter from the Pacific.  We have small grants that help you get started on Internet exchange points and community networks.  To Tracy's point and I'll leave it to you for the discussion which is very interesting to us as well, how do you maximize looking for resources, going after them?  Do you do it together?  Do you tell each other, here's a resource page, everybody?  Come to this page.  We know The World Bank or the global funding innovation funds has money.  Do you want to skip the big banks?  Do you want to go to companies?  Do you want to talk to Google or Facebook or whoever, Alibaba. 

Some of these organizations are putting things together ‑‑ I don't want to just speak about American things.  I've lived in a lot of countries (?)  Even though I have an American voice.  Do you want to start a resources page?  I'll stop talking. 

Are there ways to maximize things together through journalism, collectiveness, talking about the Small Islands Developing States and the projects that have been done.  He has more information on the people who have done it.  Because you are the local champion.  You are the local heroes on this.  It does take local, training each other, talking to each other.  Do you have this network of people? 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you, Jane.  So I have an actual question I want to ask for the discussants.  One will take the floor.  What I will do is I will pull the question.  If you can pull from the strands that came up from before into the question which would be very relevant.  The question is, as the Internet continues growing and consumption patterns increase globally, will there come a point where the resources in Small Island Developing States will be unable to support the needs of its users. 

>> BEVIL WOODING:  I work and represent a number of Caribbean territories in the eras of Internet development and have been over the last few years able to see in the trenches some of the very real issues that affect the advanced and development and the deployment of Internet technologies in developing states.  My response to that question would be, Tracy, if things continue the way we are, yes, we would be in a serious resource challenge. 

As it relates to the expansion and the deployment and accessibility of the Internet and the technology, the economic activity that gets built on top of it.  But there's a bright side to it, which is if we are careful and if we are deliberate, we can actually ensure that our territories have the requisite amount of Internet capacity.  That's where things get very interesting. 

I want to draw on the last comment about the role of the media. One of the most significant challenges being faced right now is just awareness of how things relate.  Jamie referenced Internet exchange points and the critical role they play in establishing Internet growth and development.  For many people there are real questions on why is it worth setting up?  How does it function?  What makes it grow?  These questions are not easily answered when the only persons in the room are technical persons. 

What we have seen are cases where people are trying to establish data exchange points, but they only provide Internet service providers.  When there are less than mature competitive landscape, having only ISPs talking about Internet exchange point, is not going to yield the benefits or the promise of the exchange points. 

We have seen that in real terms and painful terms where incumbent operators and their equivalents would get together, establish an exchange point and keep everyone else out or suppress the sharing or not allow for content to be developed locally and only concern themselves with international content.  When you think about the issue of what does it mean to have the resources that allow for it to flourish in any territory, you recognize it's the regulatory environment, the entrepreneurial environment, the education environment. 

There are a set of people and groups that will not necessarily see themselves as collaborators in the process.  If they're not aware of what one is doing and how and when it needs to connect to what it would like to do, you won't get the results.

What we've started building around this multistakeholder in the Internet Governance Forum is a national forum where these topics can become hyperlocal.  There are conversations around what is network resilience?  What are the benefits of not just the Internet exchange point but caching servers? 

Those conversations shape the foundation for the economy.  Those are not conversations that are commonly had, one.  They are not conversations that the media take up.  There is no murder, bleeding, or scandalous situation.  We have to realize we have to engage the media on a new education track to allow them to understand what some of these issues are and how they impact national and economic and social development.  That's a process. 

So some big points that we're currently working on that I will share with the room.  One, an emphasis on critical and net infrastructure and the various components of it including encouraging organizations that might not normally see themselves as requiring their own number resources and their own autonomous networks.

We have been working in the region through the Caribbean networks to engage ‑‑ there are two in the Caribbean, LACNIC and ARIN.  We're working with both of them to understand what these organizations do in order to get resources from them.  The reason that's important is because the incumbent operators tell the clients we're the ones to give you resources.  I will give you two, maybe five if you're nice versus getting 200 or a thousand directly from the RIR.  A lot of people don't realize they're there to help them connect to the global network.  Those kinds of collaborations become very important for the groups like the society who are set up to champion the other end of that spectrum which is the content creation, the policy stimulation, the watch dogging function, the research and analysis, that all together helps to create a more informed picture of what Internet development ought to look like on a local level. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you, Bevil.  Again, this is a discussant approach.  So Bevil has thrown out a few ideas of some points in response to the question.  What I would like to do now is ask perhaps if there are any further points from the room from the Pacific side.  If not, I will then have the ‑‑ yes?  Just say your name for the scribes and what's your point. 

>> Okay.  My name is Brady.  I come from Indonesia.  I would like to comment on the competition point.  Because I remember this is also the case with Indonesia before 1999.  Because we were having this monopolistic government where telecommunication was not ‑‑ it was difficult to even access, even get access to (?) It was very difficult.  Since the economic situation (?) They promised to give some financial aid.  With the reason of the negotiation the monopoly of the economic ‑‑ since that in Indonesia we witnessed rapid growth of telecommunication industries with the Internet.  Maybe this is reflective in the condition of (?) Maybe there is a need, I don't know, maybe a promise or an aid in the monopolization with increased regulation and so forth.  Thank you. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you.  Can you get that mic there?  Great.  I'm seeing ‑‑ how many hands am I seeing on this side?  Two on this side.  Go ahead and introduce yourself and your point. 

>> Hello, everyone.  My name is (?) From Australia, but I have done a fair amount of work in the Pacific.  I have worked with the Pacific Disability Forum who has surveyed people with disabilities in different countries in Fiji, Papineau Guinea, and Marshall Islands.  How people with disabilities use the Internet and if I don't use this, why I don't use this?  It's startling with the number of people.  It's not really startling.  We thought there would be low usage (?) A lot of it has to do with affordability, lack of education, cultural issues.  And we heard before about universal service funds.  Certainly universal service funds could be a great avenue for providing discounted services when it comes with people with disabilities in accessing, not only the mobile phone itself but also the cost of using it on a monthly basis. 

In a lot of cases people might get a mobile phone as a gift from their relative living, say, in New Zealand or in the U.S. or other places, but to actually use it, it's very expensive.  So I'm just thinking of universal service phones and how they can be used in a broader sense in making the best use of that resource and working together to find the best ways of developing guidelines so that's possible.  Thank you. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you.  That's a very interesting point about unlocking, I think, the resources that are available, not only within the USF but also within the people.  So we talk about running other resources, human resources but there's an opportunity, I think, to look at those who are not also have been there. 

People with disabilities, people who are not normally associated with the digital economy because it's part of discriminatory reasons, if that happens.  There's an opportunity, I think, today given that's why developing states are running out of resources, to look inward to see if those skills are currently locked within PWDs.  If there's a way to bring that to the fore, to ensure that those resources, those skills, if they're already there or if they can be scaled up, to bring them to the table and have them contribute to the economies and make them, you know ‑‑ bring them fully to the surface.  I think that's an interesting point.  That affects other things as well.  We talked about that in the session before.  We talked about youth.  And also issues that people who are at risk. 

At‑risk groups who may not currently be part of the economy in the way we want to do.  A way to convert or course correct to bring them to the economy in that direction so they can also contribute in situations like that.  It's not just what I would call the elite groups who are university graduates who have the sweetest bite of the cherry, but those who are locked in some way through other means or methods.  I saw Anju had a hand up.   Is it still up?  Anju? 

>> ANJU MANGAL:  Yes.  My name is Anju and I work for the Pacific community.  We work with the 22 Pacific island countries in the Pacific, particularly in the areas of climate change, agricultural health.  My role is to bring in ICT for these sectors because these are some of the neglected sectors when talking about ICTs. 

One thing I wanted to mention was ‑‑ I mean, I know we're talking about challenges like climate change, et cetera.  But I think there are great opportunities and there are also a lot of things happening in the Pacific.  For example, Fiji was part of the 23 inborn and they tabled a (?)  And they were able to get funding to do work in the area of climate change, et cetera.  But unfortunately there was nothing sort of related to ICT or Internet accessibility.  But this comes back to the point about Pacific countries who ‑‑ especially the ones that are working in this area should also be connecting to what's going on world‑wide or internationally.

The other thing I wanted to mention there are a lot of initiatives happening.  Jane mentioned one, but based on the universal access policy, there's a remote island ‑‑ they're working on a computer‑based laboratory in Internet Community Center.  These are things that are already happening. 

I think the missing part is they still need a lot of support.  Because if this doesn't ‑‑ it's not just about implementing about it but ongoing support ‑‑ I think this is where international partners need to be aware of and come in and help with this. 

The other thing with Internet exchange.  Fiji has just launched one.  And Vanuatu launched it.  There are good process happening in the Caribbean and learning from them.  This is one thing we're not really doing.  I know I shouldn't be mentioning it because I know this is related to accessibility and stuff.  But in terms of other things that are happening, for example, Tonga has a national certificate program.  This was funded by the government. 

I think these are some of the things that are happening in the Pacific.  There's quite a lot of things already happening.  I think one of the key challenges that we need ongoing support and sustainability is one of the key things I want to highlight here.  Once development organizations or donors come in, they implement or push in funds for like a year or two, but what happens when the countries struggle or the organizations in the Pacific struggle to maintain and sustain these initiatives. 

One more thing, in terms of Tanzania, the Pacific community is working with the ACP Brussels to work with focal points in the region but not only looking at issues relating to ICT but generally anything and everything related to climate change, natural disasters and stuff.  We've been trying to do it.  I think we need ongoing support again. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you.  I would like to welcome people who are behind us in the Roundtable in the room.  If you want to join us, come closer.  I do see ‑‑ there are at least two people who want to speak now.  But beyond that, just catch my eye or raise your hand if ‑‑ I have Alan who wanted to respond. 

>> ALAN GREENBERG:  Thank you.  Alan Greenberg.  I didn't want to respond.  I wanted to ask a question.  Jane in her intervention asked the question, how is the multistakeholder model working for you?  Something has struck me in small economies is the interconnectedness of the group. 

You mention the elite, the educated.  There's a small group.  People wearing multiple hats.  That implicitly becomes a multistakeholder model even though we don't call it that.  If part of your job, you're an advisor to the minister, that should be an enabler to have things happen.  Yet what I'm hearing is it isn't working. 

I'm curious that would make it easier to make critical decisions because you know when you invite people to your house who is involved in that position in the extreme.  I'm curious why it doesn't seem to be working and helping advance some of these things.  Thank you. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  We're not that small, but I do see your point.  From where I sit I want to respond to that.  I think that they are ‑‑ there are some working, the politics in the small island states are not straightforward. 

(Laughter)

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  And it's ‑‑ even if someone knows someone as you allude to, it's not necessarily ‑‑ it doesn't necessarily mean I can call a minister, if I did know a minister, and tomorrow something happens.  That is no the framework.  The wheels of process in an economy that is from colonial times and so on and all the resource challenges that are fraught therein may not necessarily lead to what you want to happen. 

They are very good ideas and willing and passionate people, even politicians, I dare say, who want things to happen, but the wheels of the economy and the wheels of the process in the environment and frameworks don't necessarily make it happen.  It's not something that ‑‑ we don't want to take a fatalistic view of it.  We want to change it. 

Having a minister over for coffee or drinks can't yet solve that.  I think that is something that we want to correct in the future. 

There are a few rebuttals coming in.  

>> It's not a rebuttal.  I'm not particularly naive but the communication channels I was referring to, in another environment, don't exist at all.  And you would have to go through horrible things to even make contact.  So just the existence of a communication channel I was wondering to what extent it facilitates.  It doesn't make it magic. 

>> BEVIL WOODING:  Just a response, Alan.  You're correct that those channels are shorter in small societies and small environments.  To me, there's a plus and a minus to it.  The plus is it is easy to get multiple stakeholders into a room to talk about a situation.  The minus is the risk of exposing yourself on multiple fronts normally inhibits persons from making that outreach if they're not fully aware of what point a track may follow their attempts to bridge divides. 

In English basically the same thing that allows us to hold meetings and get groups together is the same thing that allows someone to be punished or ostracized or misinterpreted because they wear multiple hats and represent various interests. 

So that's how it plays itself out.  I wanted to make a point using this in regulators how education, multiple hats, and identify need can work together.  This regulator recently took universal service funds to help introduce new courses in the community college dealing with cybersecurity.  Then they in turn asked the newly formed Internet Society chapter where it can be introduced to young persons.  I thought that was a wonderful, practical example where they did not wait for external funds.  They didn't wait on some external party to come in and tell them what could or should be done.  They simply looked at the fact that young people weren't sufficiently engaged in the emerging technology in their country.  It involved participation, and they approached the community college over coffee. 

In a very short time the course was introduced into the community college.  Now they're looking for partnerships to add other courses to what is a successful pilot using resources that were put there by the operators through a resource fund. 

Interestingly those same operators didn't want those funds to establish an exchange point. 

It was a search that says we can't use them there.  Can we use it in another area where there is need?  They found something that everybody could agree on which was education.  That's another good example.  

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you.  Before Maureen, I want to see if there's anything around the square table.  Are there any points down or in the back before anybody repeats?  Because there are repeating people speaking.  I'm not seeing any hands.  Okay.  First Maureen and then Sala. 

>> MAUREEN HILYARD:  Thank you.  Thank you, Tracy.  I have to agree with Bevil when he says that wearing multiple hats can be an advantage and a disadvantage.  I think with my minister, for example, anything that I may have said in one hat that he didn't like, just scrubbed everything else that he might have liked. 

I think one of the things ‑‑ monitorize the Cook Islands at this particular stage.  Up until now the Internet ‑‑ which we are a country of 14,000 and we have a satellite dedicated to us.  Mega capacity.  But the government treats the Internet as a luxury item.  So that you can have the people who can afford it and those who can't.  In fact, the Internet is actually quite unaffordable to a lot of people especially where the average earning income is $15,000 New Zealand which is about 8 Euros.  There's a really big gap between the people who actually use the Internet, not for work, but actually in their homes as part of their daily lives.  It doesn't happen. 

Really critical turning points for the Cook Islands is that they have not given people a chance to use the Internet for all the reasons that we know that the Internet can be used for.  And yet, next year the Cook Islands graduates (?) No longer is it a developing country.  It is the first island nation in the Pacific to actually become a developed country.  And that is because we have a very successful tourism industry.  But the tourism industry when the GDP is divided, the money we earn is divided by the small population.  Of course, it looks as if we are very wealthy, but it doesn't take into account that there are the very wealthy and the very poor people who don't access the Internet. 

The government doesn't support or encourage the use of the Internet for the training and the skill development of the local population. 

So we're going to be very disadvantaged as we move into this new era, and at the same time the government has been given a grant by the New Zealand government.  And they'll get a loan from ADB to be connected to the cable in 2019.  All very well, but there has been no move to improve the infrastructure.  There's still no sort of like strong governance, sort of like ‑‑ interest to make sure that with this increased and enhanced resource that we're actually going to make the best ‑‑ it's going to have the best value for the people. 

So there are really important issues that the Cook Islands government needs to be sorting out within the next month.  You know, as I mentioned, I'm on a telecommunication advisory council representing civil society.  We have advised the minister on several instances on several issues.  I don't know who he listens to because he doesn't listen to us.  He goes off the island and comes back with magnificent ideas that has nothing to do with what we see. 

But that's small island.  We're a small village.  Again, what people say and what they ‑‑ the conversations that they have may not mean anything when other people are also involved.  But so there we stand.  We'll be moving into another status.  And we will not have access to developing country funds. 

So we have to look at ‑‑ the Internet is going to become more important.  The Internet has to become an economic enabler for the people.  But we're going to be starting from behind the mark because like a lot of our people have not had the contact, training, nor the skill development that they need in order for them to be successful.  Thank you. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  I think that's another area ‑‑ apology to those in the room ‑‑ about economics and how things are calculated in terms of GDPs and the way economies are ranked.  I know there are many countries where the commodity cycling between highs an lows and the GDP goes up and down.  You move in and out of these slots and your funds dry up.  It's a very classic case of resources running out.  When you get put into that bucket, it's difficult to back into the other bucket.  No one seems to understand the issues that these countries' fears are not necessarily only economic dollars and cents, GDP, per capita issues.  They're very real social, environmental, structural, infrastructural, those things can't even begin to address.  Until they realize that and I think the SIDS reports I saw related to those issues.  Until those things emerge more and more and more, we're going to have challenges like this coming to the fore.  Sala? 

>> SALA:  I want to pick up on the comment made by our colleague in Indonesia who made remarks on the competition, the impact of competition policies.  It's not unique to the region.  It affects telecommunications globally.  The impact of competition policies on access is a very real thing, particularly even more so in Small Island Developing States where things are heavily politicized.  I say it's in the U.S. is politicized like the net neutrality.  These Canadians couldn't be bothered. 

(Laughter)

>> Small joke.  Having this balance in terms of you want to have robust competition policies but also to ensure that it has to be light handed.  You don't want heavy‑handed regulation.  Even now when we're introducing ‑‑ not introducing, when you say internet governance in SIDS many may not be integrated as Anju had mentioned.  We seem to think that the meaning of governance is to regulate.  You know? 

Going back to what Jane said in terms of education and what Bevil underscored in terms of education, I thought I would point to an IGF in Nairobi.  We got Bevil to come to the Pacific, thanks to the U.S. State Department who sponsored.  We reached out to the AP attorney general.  We got Bevil and a few others to facilitate a youth tech camp.  We did internet governance, policy training and building and designing a mobile use. 

At the same time in a side note thanks to the sponsor.  We got all the telecos in the region to have an ISP briefing which was the beginning of a conversation.  Because there were few of us like in the middle level who could push for ISPs to an extent.  The executives and the board are the ones who make the call in the region.  So that initiated the conversation and just the level of awareness.  Bevil was good at making it simpler and easy for the people to understand, apart from executives.  Those that needed to understand, like the banks, like those that actually have content where content drives economics and that sort of thing.  I thought I would make that point. 

The second thing is I would like as an outcome from this meeting because it's in the Internet Society since Jane Coffin is here is to have more studies and reports done in terms of the competition aspects and availability and to look at five years' worth of data.  That's a wish list. 

The other thing in the Pacific it started growing in ISPs still much needs to be done.  The price cap put on Vanuatu three months ago which the regulator suspended.  I was told that the uptake was instantaneous and capacity was maxed out.  In terms of ‑‑ because it's expensive.  (?) It's being transcribed I wanted to highlight some of the conversation and this is some of it. 

We have segregated information platforms that integrity issues, lack of regional awareness in existing information.  We need a wish list from this community.  We need (Audio fading in and out) that can be shared around the states.  The other one is lack of cohesion in resources.  (Audio Connection Difficulty) to give an example of this, a lot of our metrology, SIDS are prone to ‑‑ we have issues with some gone missing. 

I went to Vanuatu and I had to start from scratch to get data sets, but you won't see that published anywhere.  There's a lack of treaty repository.  Currently in the Pacific we don't have advanced modeling capabilities.  And Anju, if you know, (?) Melbourne University for the super computers. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you.  We have just about 20 minutes left.  So the final discussant question.  You can follow on what we did on yesterday. 

So the SIDS continue to struggle with resource challenges.  Once food, water, shelter, energy, quality of air, many of these challenges have the potential to further drain the limits of bandwidth, network resources, and human capacity in these territories.  How then do we as small vulnerable economies work together to meet and rise above this challenge or risk quite literally being drowned in a Digital Revolution? 

The question is, in small developing states and economies, not only SIDS as a scenario, how can we all work together to develop one ‑‑ we talk about research and action agenda or an alliance of some sort ‑‑ to really get this moving beyond talking and beyond coming to the IGF and having a session and moving on, is there a way we can really make this real?  How to work together? 

I'm looking for ideas not just from ‑‑ it looks like five people living ‑‑ it's Bevil and people's first names.  There are many more of us.  If I recall there about 55 million people living and there about 57 countries.  So it's ‑‑ there quite a lot of people there. 

You may have heard, for example, one island in Dominica, Barbuda, and then Dominica almost completely wiped out.  Barbuda people have to move out of the island.  There's no place for living at least at this point in time.  What happens in situations like that when you're immediately confronted with a disaster or challenge of that nature?  Or several years ago where a volcano wiped out half of the island.  Half had to move out.  I'm looking to people in the room, suggestions, ideas, working together as countries of people to solve these problems.  Let's document ‑‑ let's get it going. 

>> Hi.  I'm from Kenya.  I'm an ISO ‑‑ I think in that situation we can probably come up with regional treaties that could address resettlement issues.  Countries could probably ‑‑ I know that if this country is affected with such a disaster, other countries should happily accommodate them.  The signatories have to be like abandoning (trailed off).

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you.  We have a lot of people.  Say your name ‑‑

>> Hello?  My name is Rebecca from Tanzania.  I came to IGF.  When you talk about bandwidth and resources, I don't know about the islands but for Tanzania, we have the Internet Service Providers Association and all the ISPs are members.  They have the Internet exchange points. 

So far we have one in Arusha and (?) They have a vital role.  I don't know what extent the content networks but the engagement of more than ISPs in this matter, the IX Internet exchange points.  I think you talked about that.  There's a need to look at that.  The Internet exchange points should also involve content delivery networks and other key players. 

Another key thing is public private partnerships, the engagement of the government, and the private sectors, individuals and organizations could play a vital role too to ensure that we have sustainability of the bandwidth and resources within this country.  That could be the same case with other developing countries. 

The issue of spectrum owners like ISPs being able to share the spectrum with other with a cross‑implication.  They could be doubling the capacity of cell towers but increasing bandwidth.  I think there are a lot of critical factors that are involved, and they each have an important contribution to ensuring this. 

But I think we could start with public private partnership.  Although I know for most countries there's a lot of politics involved.  That's a challenge.  If we could push for that and ISPs to involve more than Internet service providers to solve the issue with bandwidth and resources.  Thank you. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you.  Those are two excellent points from the youth group.  Do we have anything further from our guests in the room?  Yes? 

>> Hello, everybody.  I'm from India.  I'm also a youth fellow.  I'm an extending a point as a matter of fact.  This is related to the bandwidth issue.  The fact that it's not just fiber that needs to be ensured but affordability which has to be the primary concern. 

So with regard to this, in the case of India we have this policy which is called the corporate social responsibility policy whereby each ISP ‑‑ in our case we have private players and we have to contribute to the profit for social issues which are important.  If the policy could be mandated for ISP service provider to the net profit should be primarily to increase access in those issues where Internet penetration has still not taken place.  I think that could go a long way.  Just a suggestion.  I'm not sure how feasible that is. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you.  Anything else? 

>> JANE COFFIN:  One idea that I have and not for us to do for you but for you to do together.  Many of the summits we've had, the participants have gotten to you and they've formed a WhatsApp group and then a website group, a mail group, sorry.  By working with each other and letting you all know what's going on, what one country's done ‑‑ maybe it's Sala, Bevil, Tracy, the young woman from Tanzania ‑‑ content delivery networks are very important.  Many want to provide service to your country. 

Back to the point, create a WhatsApp group for those of you who know each other and interested because you can keep each other in touch.  There's a group here on my mobile from Subsaharan Africa.  Hey, there's a grant out.  Did you see it?  Hey, you got the grant in Kenya.  Awesome.  They're supporting each other.  That's community.  You are the future of connectivity in your country.  Not me.  I can tell you about other things going on.  But you can do it.  We've seen what Bevil's done, what Tracy's done, what Sala's done.  A young woman here who is not talking about Trinidad.  Tons of work and created workshops and more connectivity.  You guys get together and do it.  Form an email list. 

I've seen LACNIC's list for resources.  People help each every day to solve problems on this list.  APC has a great community.  Mike Nolls is part of APC.  He can tell you about that.  Know there are a lot of resources out there that you can contribute to and make a difference in.  Go for it. 

Tracy may be the head honcho here.  You can lead the group and get a SIDS WhatsApp group together out of this meeting. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  That's a good point, Jane.  I would like to mention yesterday there was a SIDS proprietary session that my colleague Sala quite expertly maneuvered through the MAG and got us a session that replaced another session we had.  Quite a number of heavy hitters there.  In that session we proposed something like a SIDS alliance which would be the first step towards what we were discussing there.  We could start with a what's up group.  But it could be a platform going forward.  I will let Sala talk about that more in a couple minutes.  I want to follow up on what you're seeing.  Let's go to Bevil on this alliance aspect. 

>> BEVIL WOODING:  Thank you.  I just wanted to draw on the point that Jane is making how easy it is to start without permission and without formal bureaucratic authority structures.  After the last set of storms in the Caribbean, a number of persons got together, myself included, to look at what went /wrong.  Why did an entire country go offline after a hurricane.  These are normal events.  These should not hit by surprise.  Why did the radio communications go down, mobile networks go down?  Where were we not looking to be surprised by such a recurrent event? 

What we decided to do was then to form a commission to review the Caribbean network resilience.  We decided to do this because we knew it would take the formal structures months to mobilize and to approve commissioners and so on.  We started to make some phone calls.  We spoke to some of the net organizations.  We spoke to persons we knew around the region and across the world who would be interested in analyzing the various aspects of what went wrong. 

We made sure that the group did not have any persons with an interest in excuse making.  This was supposed to be an objective analysis of it. 

To get to one of the points I raised earlier, one of the things I recognized, for example, when the mobile networks went down, there were no agreements in place with regard to getting spectrum from another region or getting free roaming from one of the territories nearby that was within range.  You could have gotten back up and running quickly, but there was no anticipation that such a scenario would be required.  Ditto for ports waiving fees and all sorts of practical issues around disaster recovery. 

So the group was set up with a combination of interests.  This is public private partnership at its finest.  The Caribbean Telecommunications Union.  The Caribbean network operators group.  Packet clearing house, ICANN, agreed to be part of the group.  We made calls to Sysco, IBM, climatologists who could help us look into what do we need to do to make sure that this never, ever, ever happens again? 

We came up with the commission is only now being set up.  We expect to start in January.  We already identified the era everyone is to put a microscope upon.  One is autonomous network.  One of the things that happened was there was a blind trust in the service providers and people just assumed that they had appropriate back‑up.  They assumed that they had sufficient network resilience.  They assumed that they had sufficient response capability in place.  All of these assumptions proved false. 

So what we want to make sure is that we can now embark on a campaign for autonomous networks.  Now identifying it as important and then convincing others who don't have a history of setting up such networks managing such networks and reducing dependency on the operators that is a process that is going to take time.  We recognize that. 

The second thing we realized was local content, applications, and services.  This gets back into the whole issue of who develops your apps, software?  Some basic things like tracking where volunteers are going and what are the skills was not part of the resource in the aftermath of the storms.  Given the software challenge and the high level of mobile usage in the region, why did we not have apps to deal with the migration, to deal with the displacement, volunteerism, to deal with all things that kids can write in a weekend of activity.  That should never, ever, ever happen again. 

The last one is local research.  We have people doing fly‑overs to see how many ports are damaged and affected by the storms.  Where were the satellite maps?  Where were the topography and GIS type applications to help us with before and after picture?  Again, the feeling is if we pool existing resource, that should never, ever, ever happen again.  You all with me?  It showed us in a real way the practical benefit of working together and bringing people together in new partnerships. 

One of the reasons we feel that the commission is to have a combination of persons from the region and persons from outside the region.  We acknowledge the reality that local voices don't always get local respect. 

So a big part of what we want to come out of the exercise are a set of trusted recommendations.  So if you don't want to believe the person on the ground, believe the person who stood beside him who is not from the territory who has credentials from large name companies that you respect or that you regard more highly than your own local talent.  Mixing that into a practical approach to coming up with a review of Caribbean network resilience. 

I think that that model would apply in any territory in any developing region as it relates to being prepared for events in a world where we expect more crisis to come our territories.  Thanks. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  So we're running out of time.  I want Sala to have the last point on the next steps.  I'm seeing ‑‑ can someone connect us to how many points are left in the room?  That's one.  Okay.  Go ahead. 

>> My name is Brian.  I want to talk about the challenges that can be faced in natural disasters and how we can contribute together from other countries.  Just thinking about it as a community was just saying we need research and we need volunteers.  We need people to contribute. 

What I've been thinking about is most probably ‑‑ maybe think about the natural disasters of destruction of buildings and infrastructure and whatever.  I've been thinking that I don't know whether it will be possible to create a website that is going to have the main key resources that one needs for survival after natural disasters.  Most probably the key things to be looked at in that website would be water, food, and energy. 

For example, after a disaster one might also suggest that countries can also donate solar panel or harness energy from water waves so that you can at least get quick connection for the people to start reconnecting or communicating after disasters.  Also this can help in volunteering.  I've seen in natural disasters people checking in on Facebook.  People can also create donation, should I say, donation portal where you can put more money to help in trying to bring back the community. 

I don't know whether that is possible to have a website that can have all the papers, all the necessary ideas that one can quickly utilize after a natural disaster. 

>> TRACY HACKSHAW:  Thank you, Brian.  That's an excellent point.  Sala is going to pick up and wind up with the discussion on the points.

>> SALA:  This has been simmering when we first had the discussion in an IGF like this.  So one of the things I've been noticing is you know how the Internet Governance Forum you have the best practice forum.  You have the dynamic coalition and the intercessional and workshop proposals coming up from the communities and from individuals. 

One of the things I would really like to see personally is an increase, an avalanche, an increase in workshop proposals coming in from and developing states particularly.  I like how Jane don't limit it to SIDS but to developing states.  That's certainly awesome because you can move forward, collaborating and broadening the alliance. 

Having said that, yesterday we had a preparatory session which was opened by the ambassador to the UN in Geneva.  She's a chief negotiator for (?) Fiji was the president for the (?) She has experience in pushing things at that level.  We thought we should get a champion to champion our voices in that particular level.  At the same time, the different levels.  We were also privileged, weren't we, Tracy, to have UN present as well.  They look after ‑‑ apart from the IGF project, we also look after the SBGs.  They're the ones who funded the UN conference and that sort of thing. 

Aside from that, just underscoring what Jane mentioned, that at the end of the day the community ‑‑ and Bevil said, you don't need permission.  That's also something the Undersecretary General you don't need permission to set up a global repository.  Start one.  What's stopping you?  So here's the proposal.  We have a SIDS ‑‑ by the way, we have SIDS for the first time in the history of 12 IGFs.

(Applause)

(Captioning of this session will end in a few minutes)

>> It's currently empty.  By the way. 

(Laughter)

>> My job was to book the booth.  Your job is to go man it, network, hang out, bring your information.  But lime, Trinidad word.  We can have a sheet of paper there.  That goes beyond this.  Those who want to sign up to the SIDS alliance.  Obviously we'll be having coordinators for the SIDS alliance.  Not myself because I'm conflicted.  I can push things better.  Sorry.  Just kidding.  That was a joke.  You can delete that from the transcript. 

(Laughter)

>> SALA:  But seriously.  As you can imagine in the WTO, we have the 11th conference and the electronic with one of the new things on the agenda.  One of the things that I've noticed that is common through the SIDS states is the permanent missions do not have the resources to proliferate and to take the ICT issues because it's not a priority compared to other things.  So developing a SIDS position for both the CSID.  We don't have SIDS representation and developing states representation on the CSID. 

Having a SIDS position from the SIDS alliance, getting more members from the SIDS states on the MAG.  So please apply to join the MAG when the call comes in.  Workshop proposals, feel free to match make across each other, with each other and think of ideas to propose workshops so that we can have a flood of new workshops coming in from the developing states.  Our future is exciting.  We don't let anyone tell us who we are.  We know who we are.  We are not limited by the size of our island or territories.  We're not certainly not limited by our gross national income per capita.  Yes?  We determine it as Bernadette mentioned yesterday during the last session.

(Captioning concluded at 12:16 p.m. CET)

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