IGF 2017 WS #4 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Roundtable: Are we running out of resources & bandwidth?

Short Title: 

SIDS Roundtable: Are we running out of resources & bandwidth

Proposer's Name: Mr. Tracy Hackshaw
Proposer's Organization: Internet Society Trinidad & Tobago Chapter
Co-Proposer's Name: Mr. Patrick Hosein
Co-Proposer's Organization: Director, Trinidad & Tobago Multistakeholder Group (TTMAG)
Co-Organizers:
Mr.,Tracy,HACKSHAW,Technical Community,Internet Society Trinidad & Tobago Chapter (ISOC-TT) Ms.,Maureen,HILYARD,Civil Society,Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) Dr.,Patrick HOSEIN,Academic Community,Trinidad & Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group (TTMAG)

Additional Speakers: 

Maureen Hilyard - Cook Islands

Jane Coffin - United States of America 

Anju Mangal - Fiji

Bevil Wooding - Trinidad & Tobago

Agenda: 

DRAFT AGENDA

Welcome & Introductions (5 mins)

Discussant Topic 1 - 20 mins - OPEN ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
As the Internet continues growing and consumption patterns increase globally, will there come a point when the resources available in Small Island Developing States be unable to support the needs of its users?

Discussant Topic 2 - 30 mins - OPEN ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
The SIDS continue to struggle with resource challenges in all forms - water, food, shelter, energy, quality of air - and many of these challenges have the potential to further drain the limited bandwidth, network resources and human capacity available to public, private and civil society actors in these territories.  How then do we, as small, vulnerable economies, work together to meet and rise above this challenge, or risk being quite literally drowned in the Digital Revolution?

Open Roundtable Discussion & The Way Forward

Report: 

IGF 2017 Reporting Template

- Session Title:  Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Roundtable: Are we running out of resources & bandwidth?

- Date:  18 December 2017               

- Time:   10:40 am             

- Session Organizer: Mr.,Tracy,HACKSHAW,Technical Community,Internet Society Trinidad & Tobago Chapter (ISOC-TT) Ms.,Maureen,HILYARD,Civil Society,Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) Dr.,Patrick HOSEIN,Academic Community,Trinidad & Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group (TTMAG)               
 

- Chair/Moderator: Tracy Hackshaw               
 

- Rapporteur/Notetaker: Cintra Sooknanan (ISOC-TT) + several [email protected] Fellows           

- List of Speakers and their institutional affiliations:           

Discussant: Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro - Fiji

Discussant: Maureen Hilyard - Cook Islands

Discussant: Jane Coffin - United States of America

Discussant: Anju Mangal - Fiji

Discussant: Bevil Wooding - Trinidad & Tobago     
 

- Key Issues raised (1 sentence per issue):
 

As the Internet continues growing and consumption patterns increase globally, will there come a point when the resources available in Small Island Developing States be unable to support the needs of its users?

The SIDS continue to struggle with resource challenges in all forms - water, food, shelter, energy, quality of air - and many of these challenges have the potential to further drain the limited bandwidth, network resources and human capacity available to public, private and civil society actors in these territories.  How then do we, as small, vulnerable economies, work together to meet and rise above this challenge, or risk being quite literally drowned in the Digital Revolution?

                

- If there were presentations during the session, please provide a 1-paragraph summary for each presentation:    

 

N/A             
 

- Please describe the Discussions that took place during the workshop session (3 paragraphs):                
 

Jane Coffin of the Internet Society spoke to issues surrounding engaging civil society and corporations to see how we can come together to build the internet community. Education is important literacy connectivity and economic development are intertwined. What type of connectivity you have, how to improve it, what are the challenges and how to unlock those challenges. Not just the physical infrastructure but the price points to unlock that access. Coffin pointed to the a report on SIDS that ISOC produced in 2017 - Ensuring Sustainable Connectivity in Small Island Developing States
 

Sala- In relation to the topic that Tracy designed are we running out of resources I can speak to certain context only but first let me make it clear that this is in my personal capacity. I used to work for the regional university of the South pacific. IT happens that as we were doing the planning and design for infrastructure  on the future capacity needs we had to forecast demands based on mathematical models of past years in terms of how content was driving usage. What we found shocked us, in terms of demand in content and the pull on the university network which houses the RIR, climate change database, the Research Education Networks, etc. Based on connecting this to the question and ISOC’s report the backhaul is critical, the most expensive access is from this part of the world in the Pacific, we have the world’s largest Exclusive Economic Zone. There are serious resource constraints where the average person finds it difficult to access internet based on economic issues and challenges. In Vanuatu, internet access in June was shocking in terms of the cost, the reason for that is the competition infrastructure landscape and the telcos on the second tier pass down the cost to the consumers. The regulator slapped a price cap on the operator having a monopoly so recently there has been improvement. But the regulator is now suspended so there is also a political dimension.

Tracy- Now that we have had some feedback from the Caribbean and Pacific we can open the topic up to the round table on issues to resource utilization and how we can improve on these challenges. I note there are many youth ambassadors present so would like to specifically ask you how we can help home countries in participating.

Abu Bakr Carsen from Tanzania- In our part we have ACP Press Club, the union of the journalists. It is a great resource which can create a possibility in improving moboilisation of internet resources around the world. We look the same and we have the same problem and challenges and we might have the same approach to solving this problem but not exactly the same in how we can use the various options we have.

Jane Coffin- One thing I didn’t mention is that yesterday I was supposed to speak about the ITU and some of their resources. I don’t know if the ITU rep is here, all of their resolutions related to development make reference to SIDS and LLDCs. There is specific focus paid on SIDS themselves in order to maximize resources, find your ITU people and ensure that they make representations and also talk to ISOC chapters that have small grants for internet exchange points etc. How do you maximize going after resources, can we do it together, can we go to a particular page, we know the global Innovation fund has money, do you want to go to corporations, foundations, do you want to start a SIDS resources page, whether it is through journalism, etc. You are the local champions, trainers and network of people.

Tracy- Will pose the question and ask Bevil to lead it. As the internet continues growing and consumption patterns increase globally, would there be a point when resources in SIDS be unable to support the

needs of its users.

Bevil- Have seen in the trenches some of the issues and my response is that if things continue as they are we would be in a serious resource challenge, there is a bright side that if we are careful and deliberate we can ensure that our territories have the requisite amount of internet access. We are suffering from lack of awareness of how things relate, what is an IXP, how does it function, what makes it grow, these questions are not easily answered especially where there are only technical people in the room. Having only ISPs talking about IXP is not going to yield the benefit or the promise of IXPs. We can’t keep everyone out, suppress sharing, not allow for content to be developed locally. What does it mean to have the resources to flourish in every territory? There are a set of people and groups that will not see themselves as collaborators and you won’t get traction. What we started building around the CIGF are national IGFs to ensure that the local issues relating to network resilience, and access are propagated. It is important for the media to report and help get organisations engaged. We have been working through CARIBNOG to get the 2 RIRs Lacnic and Arin engaged to have corporate clients get internet resources directly from the RIRs. These groups are important for the ISOC and other organisations locally which helps to create a more informed picture of what internet development ought to look like.

Runita from Indonesia Internet Society- Having this monopolistic government and it was difficult to get financial aid and increased regulation to remove monopolies.

Gonna Asbury from Australia but work in the Pacific- Have surveyed people with disability in different Pacific Countries on how people with disabilities use the internet via mobile phones and why they won’t. There is low usage for a number of reasons, accessibility, cost etc. USF could be a good avenue for assisting people in accessing the mobile phone and the cost of monthly charges.

Tracy- That is an interesting point of unlocking resources not just in USF but in people such as persons with disabilities. We don’t normally associate persons with disabilities with the digital economy but this is a mechanism to look inward to bring that to the fore to ensure that those resources or skills are brought to the table and contribute to the economy. There are other areas such as women and girls, youth, at risk groups, and this is a way to course correct so that it’s not just the elite groups such as university graduates.

Anju- Work for the Pacific Community but particularly in the areas of climate change, agriculture and health. One thing I wanted to mention was that there are great opportunities. The Ministers working in this area should also be connecting to what’s going on worldwide or internationally. Based on Vanuatu’s USF they are looking on a computer based laboratory. Fiji just launched an IXP. We need ongoing support and sustainability.

Alan Greenberg- Wants to ask the question, Jane asked the question how is the MSM working for you? Something always struck me is the interconnectedness of small groups, people wear multiple hats and that in itself is MS. Yet what I am hearing is that it is not working.

Tracy- There are many issues working, the politics is not straightforward and even if someone knows someone it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can call the Minister and tomorrow something happens. There are very good ideas and passionate people but the wheels of the economy and the process environment and it is difficult to change this.

Alan- The communication channels in another environment don’t exist atall, so just the existent of the communication channels how does it make it happen.

Bevil- yes the communication channels are shorter, yes the chance of getting people in the room is better, but there is punishment or misinterpretation risk having multiple hats. Using the St Vincent Regulator as an example, the regulator took USF funds to introduce new courses in cybersecurity and they asked the ISOC Chapter on short courses. They looked at the fact that young people weren’t sufficiently engaged and they approached the community college and in very short time the course was introduced and now following up on the successful pilot. It is a search to find areas that everyone could agree on for use of the USF.

Maureen- I have to agree with Bevil where he says that wearing multiple hats is actually disadvantageous. Up until now in the Cook islands we have a satellite dedicated to us with huge capacity but the government treats the internet as a luxury item so you have those who can afford it and those who can’t. Where the average earning income is low there is a big gap between the people who use the internet in their home and others. There has been a change for Cook Island to become a developed country because of the tourism industry. It looks from a GDP perspective that we are wealthy and there is not governmental support and encouragement of the internet for skills development etc. We will be very disadvantaged. There has been no more to improve infrastructure, governance interests and add the best value. There are important issues that Cook Islands will have to sort out in the next month. I’m on a Telecom Advisory Council advising the Minister representing Civil Society. That is a small island nature and again what people say and the conversations may not mean anything when other people are also involved. There we stand we will not have access to developing country funds. We have to look and ensure that the internet becomes an economic enabler, a lot of our people have not had the contact, training and skills development to move forward.

Tracy- This is a failure of the economics, because of the cycling of resources and resources running out. The issues are not just economic but also real social, environmental, structural, infrastructural and educational issues.

Sala- Want to comment on the statement by the colleague from Indonesia. Politics are ubiquitous, you want to have robust policies but must be light handed, not heavy regulations. We need to understand that the meaning of policies is not necessarily regulation. Its important for the bankers to understand. The Internet Society needs to have more studies and reports on the competition aspects and 5 years worth of data. In the Pacific still more needs to be done, the price cap literally increased demand and there was no more excess capacity. We need a global SIDS repository to consolidate information, increase cohesion, meteorology, data sets, advanced modelling capabilities.

Tracy- The Final discussant question is that the SIDS continue to face challenges and these threaten to further drain the bandwidth for access. How can we rise above this challenge as vulnerable economies to work together to get this beyond talking and coming to the IGF. How can we make this real? There are 55Million people living in 57 different countries. What you may have heard about Barbuda and Dominica which where completely devastated so what happens in situations where immediately you are confronted with a disaster. How can we work together as countries and people to solve these problems?

Jowathagi from Kenya- Think in such situations we can come up with regional treaties to come up with resettlement issues so other countries should accommodate them.

Rebecca from Tanzania- When speaking about bandwidth and resources we have the ISP Association with IXPs which play a vital role to keep the data local and engagement of IXPs is key. The IXPs should involve ISP and content delivery operators and other key players. The engagement of the government

and private sector shall ensure sustainability. The issue of spectrum owners comes with a cost implication. There are a lot of critical factors involved but we can start with PPPs and push for IXPs to involve more that ISPs we can be on a start to solve access and bandwidth issues.

Carla Khan form India- Extending the point, it’s not just fibre but affordability. In the case of India we have a CSR policy where each ISP and private players give 2% of profit net is used for CSR and internet penetration.

Jane- One idea that I have is that a lot of the summits, the participants got together and formed a whatsap group and then formed a mail group. In finding out what each country is doing because we can keep in contact, in touch and support eachother. People help eachother and know there are a lot of resources out there so go for it.

Tracy- Good point, there was a SIDS preparatory session on Day 0 and a SIDS alliance was proposed.

Bevil- We don’t need formal or bureaucratic mechanisms. We started to look at what went wrong for landlanes, radio, mobile networks to go down after a hurricane which happens annually. We decided to form a commission to review Caribbean Resilience, we spoke to Internet organisations, and others who would be interesting in analyzing various aspects. When the mobile networks went down there was no agreements for spectrum sharing, free roaming, port waiving fees etc. The group was set up with a combination of interests the CTU, the Caribbean NOG, ISOC, ICANN, Packet clearing house, Climateologists, etc. We came up with the commission now being setup and we identified the areas of focus

– autonomous networks, people assumed they had appropriate backup, response capability and resilience

- Campaign for local content, apps and services, basic tracking where volunteers were going and the skill set

- local research with people doing flyovers to guess the damage, where was the GIS and satellite maps. The feeling is that if we pool resources that should never happen again. This showed the practical way of working together and bringing people together in partnerships. Local voices don’t always get respect, we would like to have a set of trusted recommendations, from internationally certified companies. I believe this model will apply in every territory in being prepared in a world where we need to anticipate more disasters.

Brian- Need volunteers and people to contribute and need to talk about the natural disasters and don’t know if it would be possible to create a website to have the main key resources. The key things to look at is water food air and energy. One might also suggest donations and energy being harnessed by waterways. Also this can help in volunteering. People can also create donation portals that can be quickly utilized after a disaster.

Tracy- Good point, Sala will give closing comments.

Sala- This discussion of SIDS alliance has been simmering for 3 or 4 years. We have been noticing that the IGF and workshop proposals, we would like to see an avalanche from SIDS and developing states don’t limit to SIDS can extent to developing states. Yesterday at the Preparatory session which was opened by the Ambassador to Fiji to the permanent representative to UN, she has also assured to champion our voices, we had UNDESA present who funded the UN Oceans conference. Underscoring what Jane and

Bevil stated, this needs to happen at the local level and you don’t need permission. We have the first SIDS booth at an IGF, there is no one there but go man it, lime, add your information. At the WTO we have the digital conference and the SIDS state don’t have the resources to proliferate the ICT issues so developing a SIDS position for both the CSTD and getting more members from the SIDS states on the MAG, Workshop proposals. Our future is exciting we are not limited by size, GDP and we determine and chart the pathways of our destiny. If you are with us please sign up for the SIDS Alliance and we thank Tracy Hackshaw and Maureen Hilyard for continuing to fly the flag.

Tracy- Thanks for coming and wish to close the Roundtable.

 

- Please describe any Participant suggestions regarding the way forward/ potential next steps /key takeaways (3 paragraphs):    

 

Gender Reporting

 

- Estimate the overall number of the participants present at the session: 50

- Estimate the overall number of women present at the session:30

- To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment? :

It was mentioned in relation to a discussion on underserved groups whose talent and skills are “locked” within the resource base. 

- If the session addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment, please provide a brief summary of the discussion:N/A


Session Format: Round Table - 90 Min

Proposer:
Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Stakeholder Group: Technical Community

Co-Proposer:
Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Stakeholder Group: Technical Community

Speaker: Samuels Carlton
Speaker: Hosein Patrick
Speaker: Yaw Ching Rhea

Content of the Session:
As the Internet continues growing and consumption patterns increase globally, will there come a point when the resources available in Small Island Developing States be unable to support the needs of its users?

The SIDS continue to struggle with resource challenges in all forms - water, food, shelter, energy, quality of air - and many of these challenges have the potential to further drain the limited bandwidth, network resources and human capacity available to public, private and civil society actors in these territories.

While these resource challenges engage the attention of inhabitants of the SIDS, the Digital Economy is advancing at breakneck speed, attracting talent and attention to the OECD countries, and increasingly, to the emerging mega economies of Brazil, India, Russia and China.

The increasing disparity in resource allocation at all levels exacerbates the "Digital Inclusion problem" - both within SIDS and between SIDS and the OECD+BRIC economies - which then presents "traditional" employers, entrepreneurs seeking to grow and participate in the Digital Economy, Government policymakers grappling with mounting socieconomic challenges and perhaps most critically, the "average citizen".

How then do we, as small, vulnerable economies, work together to meet and rise above this challenge, or risk being quite literally drowned in the Digital Revolution?

The 2017 Roundtable will bring together developmental and Internet Governance and Policy experts from the Caribbean and Pacific Islands as we continue to advance our shared/collective research and action Agenda at the most open and inclusive United Nations Forum dealing with issues relating to the Internet, ICT and Development.

Relevance of the Session:
The inclusion of the economic action by Small Island Developing States must form a part of any global debate on Shaping the Digital Future. Given the sustainability challenges being faced by the SIDS, the Roundtable and the topic addressing head-on the issue of looming technical, human and bandwidth resource deficits is critical to a Forum looking towards the Future and how ALL stakeholders, including the approximately 65 million inhabitants of the 50+ countries and territories that make up the SIDS.

Tag 1: #accessandinclusion
Tag 2: #sustainabledevelopment
Tag 3: Digital Economy

Interventions:
As we have been doing for the last few years, we will be utilizing our highly successful Roundtable format where everyone in the session can participate equally. Our approach functions in like manner as combined "talkshow" and "Town Hall" format where a moderator will introduce the topic and invite identified "Lead Discussants" (the invited Subject Matter Experts) to introduce the key themes of the discussion - prepared and discussed with the moderator online in the leadup to the IGF - and immediately invite participation from in situ and remote participants on each of the key themes. Discussants and Participants will engage in meaningful dialog while the moderator will work to ensure that the critical elements of the engagement are documented and pushed forward in the ongoing SIDS Action and Research Agenda in the area of Digital/Internet Policy & Governance.



Diversity:
Over 90% of our discussants are from developing countries - the majority being from some of the most vulnerable countries on the planet. Additionally, the very nature of SIDS defines our session as being geographically diverse.

According to the UNOHRLLS, SIDS are by and large very small countries. Cuba is the most populated island with 11.3 million inhabitants and the least populated country is Niue with 1,500 inhabitants. The SIDS have a combined population of about 65 million, which is slightly less than one percent of the world's population. Further, some SIDS like Niue actually experience negative population growth (-2.3 percent) due to the high level of emigration (to New Zealand, in the case of Niue).

In terms of gender diversity, we propose to achieve full gender parity at the level of the Discussants.



Onsite Moderator: Tracy Hackshaw
Online Moderator: ISOC IGF Ambassador from a Small Island Developing State - name to be nominated by the ISOC NGL Leadership
Rapporteur: ISOC [email protected] Fellow from a Small Island Developing State - name to be nominated by the ISOC NGL Leadership

Online Participation:
Remote Participants will be treated as equals in the Roundtable. The Remote Moderator will be encouraged to engage in online discussions with our Remote Participants and to create opportunities for interventions in the live session - through both comments and questions - potentially directly from the participant if technically feasible. The Moderator will frequently poll the Remote Moderator during the discussions to ensure that Remote Participants are not treated as an "afterthought".

Discussion facilitation:
As in the past, the organizers and discussants will use social media and their own networks to "seed" the discussion prior to the Roundtable. Questions and ideas will be incorporated into the planning of the "live" Roundtable and the moderator will pose some of these questions directly during the Roundtable to create further engagement. Additionally, we will appoint a "Social Moderator" who will monitor the #IGF2017 and Workshop hashtags to incorporate comments and questions into the discussion.

Our approach functions in like manner as combined "talkshow" and "Town Hall" format where a moderator will introduce the topic and invite identified "Lead Discussants" (the invited Subject Matter Experts) to introduce the key themes of the discussion - prepared and discussed with the moderator online in the leadup to the IGF - and immediately invite participation from in situ and remote participants on each of the key themes. Discussants and Participants will engage in meaningful dialog while the moderator will work to ensure that the critical elements of the engagement are documented and pushed forward in the ongoing SIDS Action and Research Agenda in the area of Digital/Internet Policy & Governance.



Conducted a Workshop in IGF before?: Yes
Link to Report: https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/filedepot_download/4098/214