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IGF 2020 – Day 10 – WS338 Keeping us together: Internet infrastructure in emergencies

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. 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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>> Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the panel "keeping us together, internet infrastructure in emergencies."

I would like to remind all participants that this meeting is recorded and will be available at IGF's YouTube channel. The discussion is hosted under Internet Governance Forum code of conduct and United Nations rules and regulations. Private chat and raise hands has been disabled for this meeting, so please if you have a question or want to have the floor, send your request to the panelists using Q&A at the bottom of the screen. Have a nice session. Thank you.

>> Thank you very much, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, everyone. My name is Bea Barbosa and I will be moderating the session. I'm part of a Brazilian civil society organization and also network rights coalition. I'm also a board member of the CJ.BR, the internet steering committee. Thanks for joining us for this workshop, "keeping us together, internet infrastructure in emergencies."

This workshop is coorganized by the CGI.VR and the telecommunications agency

Bear in mind the internet's central role in situations of disasters and emergencies, the sessions will convene participants from different sectors, regions and professional backgrounds to foster our discussion on the risks, opportunities, gaps, and possible solutions for all the issues this context of emergencies raises to the internet and on how we use it in our daily lives.

 

Special attention to our strong dependence especially in times of social restrictions that affect social interactions locally and globally. We seek to cover a set of policy issues in the sessions such as the importance of having a solid national and global infrastructure to safeguard the resilience of the internet, the central role of telecommunications and ICTs in the digital eco‑systems in the context of emergencies and, three, the development and deployment of technology to support the preparations for mitigation during and also post disaster recovery of cities, regions and countries.

The speakers of the session are Ms. Alison Gillwald, executive director of research ICT Africa from South Africa. Thanks for joining us, Alison. The president of the regulatory authority. Mr. Hajime Onga from the telecommunications bureau internet of affairs and communications from Japan. Professor at universe of arts in Netherlands. Mr. Pablo Rodriguez, vice president at NIC.PR from Puerto Rico. Tais Niffinegger, head of international affairs of the Brazilian national telecommunications agency. Last but not least, Mr. Demi Getschko, from Brazil.

The debate will be organized around two main policy questions. The first is how do we keep up with appropriated development of tools, technologies and infrastructure that allow society to be resilient under severe circumstances.

The second one, what are the roles, gaps, bottlenecks, risks and opportunities in leveraging information, infrastructure, the internet and the digital eco‑system as a whole when tackling emergency situations.

Participants will have up to six minutes each one to give their vision about these questions and describe their experience within these issues.

After that we'll have a Q&A, question and answer, and an overarching debate with the audience. Without further delay let's kickstart the session. I'll give the floor to Ms. Alison. Please.

 

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Thank you very much, Beatriz. Nice to be here with all these interesting people on this panel. I have very little time so I'll start by emphasizing that when we talk about critical infrastructure and we are not only talking about physical infrastructure which is often the points made especially in relation to developing countries and the bottlenecks we face. We are also talking about the virtual infrastructure that's necessary that are the critical assets of the economy and society.

So the question is really, you know, what critical infrastructure has been in place in order to redress the problems associated with the pandemic and of course lockdowns. Secondly, what can be done to address those.

I suppose the important point to make is really to say how the COVID‑19 pandemic and particularly the lockdowns that accompany it have really compounded digital inequality. We have long known that digital inequality reflects structural inequality in society. But I think what we have seen with the pandemic probably for the first time ever is this compounding effect of digital inequality so those who are unable to digitally substitute for economic activities, schooling, banking, et cetera that can I don't to physically are doubly disadvantaged by these circumstances. So it is a challenge to ensure we have these critical infrastructures in place and also universal or comprehensive access to these infrastructures in place.

The problem is actually a very small minuscule proportion of the African total population have been able to mitigate the effects by digital substitution over the period of the lockdown by getting their food online, getting even their grants, social protection measures have been challenged. We have had strict lockdowns and you have had to apply for the grants online. This is a critical issue because, in fact, we have a lot of the physical infrastructure across many countries in Africa that have low penetration rates.

Least developed countries like Rwanda which has a good infrastructure and 90% of the population plus covered by broadband but less than 15% have access to the internet. The signal is there, the infrastructure is there. But the human development challenges are there. First, people can't afford it. Second, don't have the skills or devices, et cetera. These are important things to acknowledge. Simply supply side measures aren't enough. We have to do demand side stimulation as well.

Of course there is the question of because of this increased demand several developing countries, South Africa included, put out temporary spectrum to operators to deal with the demand.

This is really a lost opportunity in trying to get new kinds of services, experimenting with lower cost services to people who are already offline. The temporary spectrum was granted to the dominant players in the market, mobile operators and of course it should have been because they control out these services but there were a number of ISPs, community networks et cetera that applied that didn't get services. There was TV white space which is positive. But really the opportunity to bring more people into the market to make it more competitive, make it more cost effective and for people to come online was a lost opportunity. Of course the mobile operators took the new spectrum and set up 5G services which very few people can access never mind during a pandemic.

So we really have to focus on what supply side interventions we are looking at. And speak about the lack of penetration and its impact on the ability to use technologies in order to manage the pandemic and limit the pandemic.

In fact, smartphone penetration rates across Africa but even in a country like South Africa where you have between 50 and 60% internet penetration levels. There is not sufficient intensity of devices in order to make these contact tracing apps effective.

Even less so in other countries like Kenya or Nigeria have 30, 35% internet penetration. Even if you get half of those people online you need about 60% of the population to have smartphones in order for these apps to be effective. Basically during the pandemic across Africa, at best they have resorted to manual contact tracing.

For those people who are online and able to get onto using the internet and being able to access the big social networks data there is incredible problems with bias and representation and invisibility. If we have less than 20% of the population online the AI dashboards and things we are using are really only telling us about what's happening with the elite, not what's happening with the whole population. This is really a big challenge for us as we try and prevent or create critical infrastructure for the next pandemic.

Moving from the physical infrastructure ‑‑ yes. Moving to the issues, of course we have the issues of lack of data governance in many environments. Even the setting up of the contact tracing and the mass surveillance and often the human rights and data governance in place and then of course once people are online problems around cyber security not being in place, safety, and then of course because of these things a lack of trust online. These are really big issues. I suppose the main point that I just want to say is a lot of the infrastructure bottlenecks are spoken about from the supply side. But it is really the governance issues and these are ‑‑ talking about internet cyber security, access to data, these are now global public goods and need to be governed at a global level. I think this really calls for global cooperation, country cooperation in order to address these issues and ensure that the weakest link in our global eco‑system is actually safe and protected for use. We simply cannot go on doing the same things and hope we get different results. We have to be very experimental in our policy and do things differently. We've got to do small and lots and opportunities and ensure that we actually bring the vast majority of Africans who are offline online effectively and meaningfully online.

>> Thank you so much, Alison. What a wonderful start for our session bringing much more topics than the usual idea of all that is important in this context of infrastructure. I think it brings much more topics for us to discuss during the session. Thank you very much for your contribution. I don't see if Mr. MUCHANGA is with us. I think he needed to connect and we lost him. So if it is okay, we are going to move for Mr. Hajime Onga. It's okay for you to go and if Amerigo comes back we'll put him in line again. Thank you very much. Mr. Hajime Onga from the ministry of international affairs from Japan.

>> HAJIME ONGA: Thank you for the introduction. Can you see my slide?

>> Yeah.

>> HAJIME ONGA: Okay. Thank you so much. Very pleased to meet you all. Appreciate a lot for inviting me to this workshop. I'm Hajime Onga from ministry of internal affairs and communications in Japan.

Today I would like to share resilient telecom infrastructure enabled in emergencies in Japan by focusing on the recent national disasters. As you might know, Japan was a disaster‑prone country for earthquakes, typhoon, heavy rains, flood, tsunami, volcano eruptions. The disasters have occurred more frequently and devastatingly and communications breakdowns spread to a wider area for longer times than before.

The next page. Okay. So for example the last three years, Hokkaido, as you know had the eastern Iburi earthquake in September of 2018. Typhoon number 15 called the Faxai in September of last year. And heavy rain event of July 2020 by training.

Then the next page. Just a moment. This slide shows the main break point or risks of the telecom network mainly for the general resident in the case of a natural disaster. For example, about mobile base station which is destroyed by a landslide, flood or else. Also suspended by power outage or exhaustion of emergency power supply and fuel after power outage.

The second point is for backbone optical network, telecom building could be destroyed by landslide, flood or else. Also suspended by power outage or exhaustion of emergency power supply and fuel after a power outage. Cables can be cut by a landslide, falling bridge, collapse or else. Access to users could be cut by falling trees, flyings or else. For disaster prevention mitigation so major telecommunications in Japan take basically three actions.

First one is ensuring emergency communications. Second one is improvement of reliability of telecom network. Last one is recovery of the telecom network. Among three actions from the viewpoint of resilience I will focus on the recovery of the telecom network especially for mobile service.

Our daily life has been depending on mobile service increasingly. Therefore the importance in residential areas has been growing. Major telecoms like mobile first has become a policy.

This is the case of Hokkaido eastern Iburi earthquake. The pie chart on the upper right shows the main cause of off the air mobile station is power outage. It is the same as typhoon 15 in September of 2019. Then please see the transitive graph in the lower. Around 3:00 a.m. on September 6 the earthquake which measured a 7 on the Japanese scale. Also magnitude around 7.

Soon after the earthquake the blackout power outage all over Hokkaido came. Then you can see the mobile stations have been suspended. The peak of the number is around 21:00 p.m.

 

However, as you can see the area map in the center which is from NTT Docomo, the grey area is where service was not available was relatively small. This is because of recovery of the telecom network by power supply vehicles, a mobile station and portable mobile base station. Also portable power generator and so on.

The next case is a heavy rain event in July 2020 this year. As the bar chart shows, the main cause of the mobile station is transmission cable disconnection. It's different from the Hokkaido case and typhoon 15.

Next, please see the transitive graph on the lower left side. Before daylight on July 4, training occurred nine times for six days. Therefore different from earthquake and typhoon cases, the peak of the mobile base station is reached over more days than such cases as one or two days by earthquake or typhoon.

In addition ‑‑

>> Could you come to your conclusion, please.

>> HAJIME ONGA: Okay. Just a moment. Okay. Please see the other transitive graph on the lower right which is for telecom buildings. By landslides many are destroyed and transmission networks were cut. Therefore as you can see the green arrows on both graphs recover of many telecom buildings by detour route of optical cables and replacement of broken cables could make recovery of many telecom stations.

This might be a kind of example which mobile operations become an event. Okay. So maybe I took a little bit longer time. So, okay. Example which we experienced in Japan recently, I want to share briefly with you. Please proceed next.

>> Thank you very much. I think we'll have more time during the Q&A part of our session. So you could add more examples. Thank you for your rich presentation.

We are glad that Mr. Muchenga could join us. He's the president of the communications regulatory authority. Thanks for joining us. You have six minutes, please.

[ Phone ringing ]

 

>> Thank you. Thank you, Beatriz for welcoming me to the session. I'm sorry that I'm only able to join very late. I wish to say good afternoon or good morning or good evening to all the participants in the session. I see Alison, Pablo, Tais and many that I know from other meetings.

I wish to say that this particular issue that we are dealing with of telecommunications in an emergency situation for us is an issue that's very important. As you know last year we were struck in less than a month by two powerful cyclones. One that affected the central area of Mozambique while the second affected the northern region of Mozambique.

What we learned in particular from the first cyclone is that on the following day since it hit landfall during the night on the following day we had no communication at all. Not only in the city of Beira but in the central region of Mozambique. Most of the base stations were brought down even in situations where the base station was there. The tower was there but the base station itself was flooded or broken or the power equipment was not operational.

In some places, the telecommunication infrastructure was there. But the electricity was taken down. All in all there was no communication. What we learned is that when we have that situation, first we have the problem that people aren't able to know the situation of the other person. So they don't know if a person is alive. They don't know which kind of help they can provide.

But also the emergency services like the national institute of disaster management, it has no way of coordinating efforts as well. In our case, the INGC which manages disasters had relocated to a different area. They knew it was not going to be affected. So outside of the area that was going to be affected but when they started moving to another city to provide help they found that the bridges were broken. They couldn't move by road.

It was not possible to go by air as well because the airport was affected as well. It was really a terrible situation. So there could be some road connection to the affected area. We learned it is important with those situations to have a satellite base kit you can quickly deploy to provide some sort of communication. So we could have had some satellite equipment that would enable the communication between the people located in Beira and the INGC institution or the area where the relief was organized in order to provide the support to the other side. So what did we learn after the disaster in Mozambique is it was very important not only to prepare for the disaster by building infrastructure that can be resilient to a certain type of cyclones but also we need to have telecommunications for satellite equipment that we can at least use to coordinate the relief and also for the telecommunication operators to have emergency kits they can use to restore the communications immediately.

Fortunately, they were able to rebuild swiftly because on day five at least they managed to recover in the better city around 40% of the telecommunication network. It wasn't enough for most of the communications but at least it was possible then to know what is happening for people to send messages saying that they are okay or which kind of help they need, et cetera. It is difficult but there are lessons learned and we need to be prepared in such a way that when new disasters come we are ready to act swiftly. So we will be able to share what ‑‑

[ Audio disruption ]

‑‑ Mozambique has done or know it will come one day but we don't know when. Thank you very much.

>> Thank you. If you would like to have two minutes more to move forward this topic it's okay. We still have time. It is okay if you want to leave it for the Q&A session part. That's okay.

>> I'll share more during the Q&A session.

>> Okay. Thank you very much. I will give the floor to Pablo Rodriguez, Executive Vice President from Puerto Rico that will share with us the experience you had during disasters in the country. Thank you very much for joining.

>> PABLO RODRIGUEZ: Thank you very much. It is a great honor to have an opportunity to share with you the experiences that we have had especially in the past couple of years. Bear with me.

>> President Trump declared an emergency today in Puerto Rico.

>> The president warned to brace for the worst.

>> Can you hear the audio?

>> Yes.

>> We can.

>> Maria expected to become a hurricane later on, its path is following the path of Irma.

[ SPEAKING SPANISH ]

 

 

[ Wind howling ]

 

>> There are no lights. It is dark. Entirely dark. Apparently it could take months to get the power back on.

Think about that for a second in the modern world ‑‑ months with no power.

>> PABLO RODRIGUEZ: Imagine that. Months with no power. For the first seven or ten days our island as seen from satellites, we were completely blacked out. No lights, no power lines, no cell phones, no radio, no television, nothing. What happened to that PR? The registry was operational 100% before, during, and after the hurricane because we made provisions to have two co‑locations that were bunkers that could safeguard our DNS.

In addition to that, we also had Any Cast technology deployed in several parts of the world. At that time we had it in Germany and now we also have it in Latin America. Something I would like to share with you is this picture and the picture above is what Puerto Rico looked like from the international space station prior to the hurricane. Look at the bottom picture. 26 days around the hurricane, it is around September 20. So on September 26, 95% of the island still had no electricity. Barely had running water. In addition to that most of the cell towers were down. Out of 136 cell towers were completely down. There was nothing that could help us out. Cable was attached to electrical poles and cell towers carry many antennas for connectivity.

You could see over and over again pictures like this. I remember I passed the hurricane with my in‑laws in the center of the island as I was returning to the capital to San Juan I began to see towers completely mangled, twisted in such a way that it was unthinkable that something like this has occurred and such a hurricane had such power it was amazing to me.

The one thing I learned is that the Latin American and Caribbean regions are highly vulnerable to natural disasters. Pretty much like Mr. Hajime mentioned, we are also vulnerable to hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos. So much so that, look at this. This picture is from an earthquake that took effect in Mexico 24 hours before Hurricane Maria hit us. Hurricane Maria was one of two category five hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico within 13 days.

Irma attacked many of the islands like Antigua and so many other islands. As we were taking people from those islands we were hit 13 days later. Mexico was going through that. Guatemala was going through volcanos. So we had lessons learned. Yes, indeed, we had lessons learned from what happened in Japan in 2011. We think, why is that? Why Puerto Rico is on the other side of the world from Japan, so why would that be an inspiration to us? Because we have many customers that have very important cyber real estate. Imagine all those names like Fujitsu Sony, Toyota, Honda, on and on. What are you going to do about that from a perspective as we are.

So what we did is that we extended our renewal process. Why? Because there was no way they could contact us to tell us to please renew my domain name and here is payment. I'll send an electronic payment. There is no way they could send us money from Japan here or from anywhere in the world, right? It was our responsibility to protect our customers so we renewed their domain names for a year.

We are expect in good faith that when they are ready, they will send us a payment. Indeed, that was the case. What is it that we propose? We propose that in 2017 we learned from what we have done for our customers in Japan and in other parts of the world that had been hit by natural disasters that we went through our databases and we looked out for all the domain names in the regions that were affected and we renewed them automatically. Then we expect that we would receive payment in due time whenever it was able for them.

It was more important to make sure the cyber real estate was up rather than allow them to lose their domain names and their websites and all of the other information and services they provide to their respective constituencies. So what do we propose? We propose that registry operators throughout the world as natural disasters occur do not think that because you are far away from there it is not your responsibility or you have nothing to do. Make sure your databases, that you check your databases and if you have customers from those areas you can take care of them and renew those domain names and ensure they do not lose their cyber real estate.

Thank you very much. Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask or contact me at [email protected].

>> Thank you very much for sharing the videos and the pictures. At the time I remember watching the news about the hurricane but recovering our memory on it is amazing. All of our solidarity to people from Puerto Rico. Congratulations for you and your team for facing and putting everything online after all. Thank you so much for your work.

So we move forward now with the presentations and the contributions from the representatives from the two organizations that are proposing this workshop ‑‑ the Brazilian national telecommunications agency and after that from the Brazilian steering committee. So I will give the floor now for Tais Niffinegger and for those of you who joined us after the beginning of our session, we are organizing our debate around two main policy questions. How do we keep up with appropriated developments of tools and technologies and infrastructure to be resilient under severe circumstances. And also what are the risks and opportunities in leveraging the digital eco‑system as a whole when tackling emergency situations. Please, Tais, six minutes.

>> TAIS NIFFINEGGER: Okay. Do you hear me well?

>> Yes.

>> TAIS NIFFINEGGER: Thank you for the introduction. I'll try to be as brief as I can and provide you with a bit of our view from Brazil and a bit of our past experience in Brazil as well.

It's not by chance that you see my background the institute here which is the biggest open air museum in the world. It is located in the municipality of Rumajin in Brazil where we had a big incident last year unfortunately. I'm going to talk about this case later on.

We do not suffer from earthquakes and tsunamis like Japan or cyclones like Mozambique or Puerto Rico. We still struggle every year with heavy tropical rains. Sometimes the lack of them, fires and other sorts of disasters.

Looking at our role as regulators in particular during this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that internet is, indeed, essential. There is no doubt about it.

What we need to do to create the conditions for the services should be deployed and for the consumers to have access to it is to fully support the infrastructures and put in place policies that can respond to the needs of the society. So having said that it is to our role to implement a national emergency plan including overall risk assessment, national disaster plan and applicable legislation and regulations. The rules need to be flexible enough to respond to emergencies situations timely.

As an example, due to the COVID‑19 crisis we have seen in many, many countries policy makers and regulators granting permanent or temporary spectrum licenses in the context of the pandemic. This additional spectrum licenses allow operators to provide their customers with better network access or to improve quality of service or even to improve connectivity for specific sectors like health care when and where needed.

So we could see that easing regulatory requirements or licenses is also a tool that having been proven to be quite effective for granting more connectivity.

In March this year the international telecommunications union, the ITU, proposed a bunch of guidelines for emergency telecommunications plans. They suggest regulators have flexible rules and operators have their own plans to guarantee at least the functioning of emergency communications.

According to the ITU, an efficient national telecommunications emergency plan should outline the strategy that guarantees the existence of services throughout the disaster's mitigation and the permanent exchange of information with the authorities. In addition, companies and regulators need to be prepared in advance to they need to get used to running simulations and tests before disasters occur.

Just for you to have an idea, the regional disaster's history shows that disasters have affected about 400 million people in the past 50 years in the Americas region.

Mostly related to climate and environmental events. Our main regulations in Brazil include three main things which are risk management of critical telecommunications infrastructure, monitoring the performance of telecommunications networks and preparedness and response measures for disasters. Emergency situations or public calamity state.

Measures taken also include installation of terminals or shelters in strategic locations notifications to those at risk all free of charge. Counting to May of last year we also started implementing SMS alerts sent by civil defense to the local population. These can be quite helpful in mitigating disasters.

I would like to share with you a couple of slides I have about the case I want you to talk about which happened last year in Brazil. So let me know if you can see my screen. Is it okay?

>> Yes.

>> Good. So this case happened in Brazil last year. It is a good example on how our communications system operated and responded, being able to mitigate the effects of the disasters. Brumadinho is a Brazilian municipality in the state of Minas Gerais where I come from in the southeast region of the country. It is located in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte with a population of about 40,000 people. The main economic base is supported by the mining activity, mainly by the company Vale.

The Brumadinho dam occurred on 15 January last year when the main dam suffered a catastrophic failure. This is the region, as you can see. The dam is owned by Vale, the same company involved four years before in another disaster. So this is the region before the accident. The collapse of the dam occurred just after noon on 15 January. A telecommunications crisis cabinet was established and coordinated by the telecom regulator one and a half hours after the rupture of the mine dam. Here you can see a few pictures after the collapse of the dam. It was then we established with the service providers to re‑establish, repair and maintain communications in the region and ensure the functioning of the telephones and the mobile data communications even with the interruption of the electricity supply. Here is another picture. You can see the damage.

Several measures were taken. Mobile 4G and 700 megahertz was established for emergency communications service.

 

Roaming was available to make calls from any antenna regardless of the provider which was very important. The cell phone carriers distributed about 300 sim cards to the affected population and members of civil defense. In addition to improve efficiency of the rescues. Records were then made available for the government. It helped find people who were in danger.

In addition to that satellite communications covered the entire region and were also made available to ensure communication during the whole process.

>> One minute, please.

>> TAIS NIFFINEGGER: All right. I will move to the conclusion so we have time to discuss after that. So this is the scenario and the communications that were in place by then. The lessons learned so far from this accident and also from other past incidents were that the process has proven to be effective with fast and pertinent communications via WhatsApp. The response was improved with previous smaller scale experiences that is also important and to have the communication matrix meaning contact persons in charge of the situations. And the process to be followed. Network mapping survey of what was destroyed and also important that providers send daily monitoring reports with network operating status to the government the process should be evaluated and improved for each performance for future reference. And what we know by now is we need more simulation exercise, that's for sure.

A last step which is also important is that international cooperation also helps a lot in exchanging best practices. We can learn a lot from others' experiences and I think that's what we are trying to do now. As my colleagues also highlighted before me, we need data from the governments and it can mitigate the effects on our own countries when disasters occur here.

Having said that, I finished my speech. Looking forward to discussing and learning from you. Thank you, Bea.

>> Thank you very much, Tais, for sharing the pictures from the Brumadinho.

We have one more presentation to go. We encourage everybody to send your questions through the Q&A tool. Please feel free to participate. I would like to share some comments from Carlos Alfonso, a member from the civil society. He wrote in the chat that the presentation from our companions in Puerto Rico, a huge disaster ignored by the U.S. federal government reminds Brazilians that went dark without any electricity because they went dark. Isolux is a private company from Spain that had no spare parts, no replacement devices and had to be helped by the state company Telebras in Brazil. So Amapa is still without electricity except for a few hours which are rotated every six hours to the 16 municipalities of the state. Thank you.

I'll give the floor to Demi Getschko from Brazil.

>> I thank the organizers and IGF for inviting me to be part of this interesting panel on this critical theme. Especially in these pandemic times. Maybe I have some slides here. Yes. Okay. Here are the slides. Next one, please.

We have an interesting model in Brazil. It's really not unique but it is important that we have a strong stakeholder model with government private sector, academia and civil society equally presented in the Brazilian steering committee. We try to achieve effective participation of society and sustainability, innovation and technical quality. Thank you. The next one, please.

Okay. This is the composition of the Brazilian steering committee. As you can see, the left part we have the representatives from the government and on the right part we have civil society representatives. Elected each three years. We just completed new members of the civil society representation and the CGI is now full and working well. Next one, please.

The operational hand of the internet committee is the natural information center. Nic.BR began more or less with the dot‑BR registration in 1989 and gained strength when we began to have resources around 2005. After that, we could in some ways return to the internet community again through the dot‑BR registration.

We have of course some surplus of resources to develop in order to have the strongest internet in Brazil. NIC.BR has the research arms and I want to talk about the PTT in this event. Next slide, please.

This is the mission of the CGI I will leave for your consideration. Later I will go right to the next point. Next please.

Okay. We have heard a lot about the critical resources that support the people under hard circumstances which have calamities and other problems. I will change the theme to a more soft layer. We will talk a little bit about internet, not about the infrastructure of power, electricity, telecom that's of course critical and needed to have internet. But let's take a look in the layer ‑‑ internet layer theme to see what we can do to have a stronger internet. We are optimistic because Brazil is in the first position of the most tolerant countries around internet segment availability. This doesn't mean you have the most internet infrastructure but we are less prone to have resilience problems because we are very well distributed. We have lots of small players, lots of interconnections. A structure that increases availability of paths. In this case, we have a situation that we are less prone to have a disaster because a major player fails or has a disruption in infrastructure. Of course for us it was happy news to see we reached this position. This is more or less showing the different 20 countries. Next, please.

One way we try to achieve this resilience is to spread the number of independent networks in Brazil. The autonomous systems. As you can see we have a lot of autonomous systems. We have 70% of the autonomous systems in America and Caribbean in Brazil. In some ways NIC.BR is struggling to let the people know in the area how important and how good it is to be an autonomic system.

This is the growth of autonomous system. We have eight K autonomous systems here. Next please. The other point of distribution is the service providers in Brazil. The most part of internet service providers in Brazil are small or micro companies with 1 to 50 persons employed. They are quite well distributed through the region. Next, please. We have also a good infrastructure of cables coming into the country.

Then I will talk a little bit about internet exchange and how to be more reliable in this area.

As you know, Brazil has a big area. You see we have really thousands of kilometers. All these points you can see are internet exchanges established and managed by NIC.BR and in some way contributing to have a big diversity of distribution.

By the way, this is one of the original concepts of the internet. Internet was conceived to be a distributed network without a center point of failure, without a critical dependence on any infrastructure. It's good to have in mind that these are very good principles. We have to stick to them to have a reliable internet. Next one, please.

This is just to show we have during these five years. With the beginning of the entertainment at home using movies and streaming at late hours. The internet way of exchange changed shape and peaked around 22 p.m. ‑‑ 8:00 p.m. to 22:00 p.m.

Next, please.

This is more or less the traffic of the PTT, the name we call the internet exchanges. The point of exchange of traffic in Brazil. This is Sao Paulo exchange. You have another good news on the Sao Paulo exchange. Also surpassed the Frankfurt exchange in July. We are the biggest point of internet exchange actor. Next one, please. Next one, please.

Okay. As you can see between the 12‑week and 13‑week we have a big increase in traffic, of course, because of the rush to have your services and communications all through the digital way because of the COVID. Next one, please.

If you see ‑‑ next one. And next one. Yeah. You see in 50 day ‑‑ 15 days ‑‑ less than a month, we have a big increase in traffic in this Sao Paulo internet exchange because of COVID. Next one, please. Here you have comparative look at distribution of autonomous system numbers in Latin American region to show that it's important to really put a lot of strength in trying to grow the numbers of systems and distribution of the infrastructure. Next one, please.

Just to finish, I also want to stress the importance to look forward going to the IPv6 actually.

This is the situation of IPv6 in the world. We are growing slowly in the world. Originally around 35% now. Next one, please. You can see for example some countries are better than that. India reached 47% of IPV6. United States at 41. Next one? Brazil, we are around 35%. This is also good numbers. We are doing quite well on that. Just to summarize what we are trying to say, next one. I think we have. Okay. This is the growth of use of IPv6. We have produced books on that and courses.

Next one, this is material for laboratory. We can distribute this for free for everyone to be aware of the importance of the necessity to migrate to IPV6. Next?

Finally, I think to have really an internet strong and safe you have to have a cross program around all the areas for a better and safer internet. We put together all the areas in NIC.br segments of the society where we put the best practices available to everybody and try to steer the internet to a safer situation.

What I want to finish is to remember that the internet was built by thousands of independents and we have to keep in mind it is very important to have this distribution and not to concentrate the power of the connectivity in some single big points around the net. This is the way they are going more or less now. But to have to recover the initial idea to distribute end‑to‑end connectivity. Anyone can connect with any other. Not to live in walled gardens that, of course, cause a lot of instability and lack of security. Thank you very much. I'm available for questions after that.

>> Thank you very much, Demi. Thank you for the presentation and for everything that NIC.BR does for us in Brazil.

We have some questions here and we encourage people that are participating in the sessions to send more questions. We still have some time.

I would start with Americo. We received a question that said it is good to see my country Mozambique represented in such an important event.

The question is talking about internet infrastructure in emergencies is important to understand how rural communities are prepared to this situation. And how we can ensure what is being done to guarantee those places are connected for a good response in emergency cases.

So if you could please address the question regarding the rural areas during this situation, please.

>> Thank you. I wish to say when it comes to emergency situations or disasters, rural and urban areas almost share the same type of risk. In the sense that typically after a cyclone, for instance, this is the typical disaster we get in Mozambique. We don't get too much severe earthquakes. The area of Mozambique is not that at risk from cyclones here. We have 3,000 coast around the Mozambique Channel. In particular the northern area of Mozambique is prone to cyclones because it is already above Madagascar who usually shelters the coast from big cyclones.

Now, I think when it comes to how you deal with disaster, a rural area typically will have a telephone network that can be used for communications. But after a cyclone, most likely that network will not be available most likely after a cyclone the roads won't be available. A cyclone will normally come with a lot of rain that will usually flood the roads, break bridges, et cetera. So when you prepare for disaster, you need to make sure to have in mind that after that disaster that typical traditional infrastructure of communication won't be there. You won't have an interest, et cetera.

So the question is what do you do? I want to share here what we have learned, what we have done after the two cyclones we had last year in Mozambique. The first thing we decided is there is a need to do some sort of risk assessment and make the areas that are likely to be here to buy a cyclone of the same category as we had in /PHO*EZ last year. Usually when a cyclone of this magnitude comes it will make land fall and may go as far as 200 kilometers inland and continue making destruction.

So in those areas, say in most of the cities located around the city, what we have decided in Mozambique is we need to map the area and be sure we construct certain infrastructures that are strong enough to be resilient to say a category five cyclone. So typically you need to have ‑‑ enough to sustain category five cyclones, not because you want to continue with lectures afterwards but schools are the places where you can use to shelter people after a disaster.

You need to have certain buildings within a hospital or health care center that are also resilient because typically the disaster, you will have people who will be wounded during the disaster and you need to have a place where you can actually treat people.

So this is part of the plan that we will need to have certain buildings, certain schools that are constructed in such a way that they are strong enough and to have a certain area of the hospital ‑‑ not the entire hospital, but certain areas of the hospital that are strong enough to sustain, say, a category five cyclone so you have the area where you can treat people.

The third thing that we decided there is a need to have is that certain telecommunication network has to be resilient to a cyclone. You don't have to build the entire network to be resilient to cyclones but have certain base stations that are built to sustain very strong winds such that you can have at least some sites operational after a cyclone.

Apart from that what we decide is that regional governments need to have some kind of HF communications network. Typically HF can reach very long distance and requires just a battery to make a communication. We are now in the process of looking for that kind of equipment that will be given to local governments such that when there is a disaster at least after disaster you have some form of communication with that area.

Also, we mandated the telecommunication operators to acquire some satellite base kit they can use to restore minimum communication. You don't have to have communication for everyone in the city, but have communication that can be used by the disaster relief efforts to be able to communicate with other cities and ask for help and support.

We want that located in the region such that when you know the cyclone is coming you can quickly move that equipment to that particular area.

One lesson that we learned is that I don't think that after the disaster you will have the airport operational or the port operational, that you will have the roads operational. You need to prepare for assuming you may not have the roads available. So cool you want to locate some of the relief outside of the affected area, but you need to have some capacity in the area for a situation which the roads are broken so you can start on the following day to provide some relief.

Also, assume that you may not have fuel as well. Because Beira is an area that quickly gets flooded we found even the fuel stations were flooded. You couldn't put fuel in your car if you didn't have it already. So if a disaster is coming you need to stock some sort of fuel in the cars, et cetera, to be able to power a generator or be able to power your car after the disaster.

Those are some of the things I would like to share and say this is valued for both the disaster urban areas as well as rural areas. They all suffer from the same typical problems. Thank you very much.

>> Thank you very much. We have three more questions. I would like to send this one to Hajime Onga so you can have more time to conclude your presentation at the beginning. We received a question from Susan sanders asking if in building public buildings and homes in areas prone to natural disaster, there is frequently a requirement that construction be designed and implemented to with stand these disasters. Do contracts for building, power and sanitation plans and communications infrastructure also include clauses that the structure must be able to with stand natural disasters known to occur in the area? I would imagine it would be more expensive up front but long‑term could be more efficient.

So if you could please comment. Can you see the question? Can you read the question, Onga?

>> HAJIME ONGA: Now I'm reading the question.

>> It is the last one.

>> HAJIME ONGA: Okay. I'm not sure if I can help with this question. Okay. My slide ‑‑ can you see my slide?

>> Yes.

>> HAJIME ONGA: So we take action like these five items. Maybe the first one is a kind of answer for the question. We revised the guidelines for telecom operators so for example ‑‑ okay. So at least 24 hours is required of a mobile base station and telecom building covering because the disaster response is supposed to be set up. So now we try to coordinate with telecom to make them power resources longer. Okay?

>> Yes. That's it?

>> HAJIME ONGA: Okay. This is kind of an answer to the question. If I have more time I would like to share my lesson from our experience in natural disaster. I think the most important thing is the readiness and cooperation system between public and private sectors is essential.

In order for the second one, relief and safety of affected residents and the facilitation of recovery activities.

Conventional equipment as well as innovative and collaborative solutions. So please let me introduce some example of the innovative solutions recently introduced in Japan. This is an example. For example the on‑drone base station and HAPS system is not yet in operation. Now on a trial basis. But on the other hand, on‑balloon base station and on‑ship base station and cable layer ship to deliver to the affected area, they are already introduced in Japan. So I hope these examples help you.

Thank you.

>> Thank you very much. We are going to ‑‑ we have another question from Carlos Alfonso from Brazil to Tais. He mentioned your presentation was crucial. The communications need strong support to enable them to use a spectrum creatively building community networks, using the new technologies to allow for sharing, secondary use, deployment of a location database to enable local use of white space without infringing on the rights of the big telcos and so on.

He says that community needs the help of Anatel to facilitate it and asks if you could give a perspective of this matter.

>> TAIS NIFFINEGGER: Thank you for your question. We are very much aware we need to have creativity to deal with our own challenges. We are aware of that and we are doing a huge effort to try to ease the regulations to foster communities and small providers to be part of the market, and also to have crowd sourcing solutions for our problems.

We are also studying, considering regulatory sand boxes to be available to the environment here. This is something that could happen in the near future. About white spaces we have had a public consultation already on that. The regulation is in the final stage of being elaborated. So we are going to have the implementation of that in the near future as well. That's what I can tell you at the moment. We are aware and working on that. We are very sensitive to all of these suggestions you had. Thank you.

>> Thank you, Tais. Please, Pablo. Go ahead.

>> PABLO RODRIGUEZ: Thank you. Excellent presentations for all. I just wanted to point out a couple of things. I concur with Americo regarding the need for the satellite station. That made a big difference here. We had no way of communicating with each other with organizers of the aid. So first we received satellite telephones in specific areas so you could coordinate distribution of aid, medicine, food, water and so on. The other thing that was really important was fuel.

In that moment, diesel power was necessary because the co‑locations we were using, the power generators depended on diesel fuel. So if we run out of diesel fuel we would have completely dropped out of the spectrum. So that's also very, very important. Finally I would like to address partially the question Susan was asking regarding what about regulation regarding the construction of buildings and so on. Yeah, that's true. Many cities and in many countries in Puerto Rico included have very strong building codes. But what do you do with those buildings that were constructed 200 years ago, 100 years ago when those codes didn't exist. They are very historical buildings. We cannot destroy them and reconstruct them to code. So we have a problem with that.

Furthermore, we have a problem with those constructions that were built illegally or at least out of code when a family from many years ago had a very extensive piece of land and throughout the year has been dividing that piece of land for a son, grandson, nephew and so on. All of the houses are built but not built to code. And they are in the middle of the mountains. So you have houses that are not built to code and that are old. When the natural disaster occurs you have to help them in inaccessible areas.

So that's something the government has to start looking into. That was part of our experience. Now we have to find creative ways to address those individuals and to find ways to tell them now that the house was destroyed let's rebuild to code. That's part of the challenges. Thank you.

>> Thank you, Pablo. I see Alison wants to comment as well. I would add a question, Alison. If you could please comment both of them I was thinking about sending this one to you that we received from our audience.

Are these emergencies able to have an impact on the future of the internet? If you could comment on this as well.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Thank you. That actually does lead into what I was wanting to say. I was just saying these examples that have been given are so important and such enormous progress has been made on dealing with natural disasters in these areas. We have learned so much.

I did want to highlight, you know, if we are talking about critical infrastructure as the assets that are necessary for the functioning of society and economy then the pandemic presents slightly different problems for us from a policy point of view to these.

These obviously need to carry on for natural disasters but building on some of the stuff Demi was speaking about and the points I was making earlier this really requires more systemic engagement if we are going to prepare ourselves for the next pandemic. The fact that people are unable to mitigate through digital substitution, remote work and their schooling, banking, all of those things really means we are not prepared for the next pandemic.

So we have to reduce costs. We have to get more people online. I think that was important about what Demi was saying. We have to get better systems in place. We have to get the distributed networks in place. We have to get better competition, less concentration, lower prices. We have to get the internet as it was planned to work better to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemics which we see are inevitable and going to be coming again. On that note I have a very big dog who has had enough Zoom. I'm going to stop there. Making a big noise.

>> It's totally okay, Alison. Thank you very much.

Pablo, we have seven more minutes to close the session. So I will give you the floor for your final comments and final considerations. Then I'm going to start with reverse order from the beginning. We start with Demi then and I'll ask you to please stay in one or two minutes maximum so we can listen to everybody before closing the session. Demi. Pablo, just a second. We are going to start with Demi and I will call you. Okay? Thank you. Demi, please.

>> Thank you again. I agree with the last comments. I want to say that if you look at the CGI we did some years ago we are trying to preserve, maintain the original concepts of the internet. I'm totally in favor of how the internet was conceived many years ago. Of course we are worried where things are going now. I think we have to strive to have the distributed network with open competition to everybody. And the communication end to end as it was the main and regional goals. Thank you very much.

>> Thank you, Demi. Tais, please.

>> TAIS NIFFINEGGER: So I would like to summarize saying that connectivity is crucial. We can see from all the speeches here. It also depends on strong infrastructure. Apart from that we need more integration, not only between authorities in our countries but in between ourselves and different countries from different stakeholders and different points of view. Thank you.

>> Thank you very much. Pablo, please.

>> PABLO RODRIGUEZ: Thank you. The one thing that is important to continue to have these panels and to involve decision‑makers at all levels from the government, from academia, from the private industry so they can begin to understand and coordinate in such a way that we can address all the different problems, challenges that we have.

Unfortunately not all countries are created equal. Not all countries have the same resources and we all have different priorities. While connectivity and internet and pandemia are important there are lagging problems we also carry that must be also addressed with limited resources. So it is important to get government involved. It is important to get academia involved. It is important to get private industry involved so that we can all be on the same plane.

Once again, thank you all for inviting me here. It's been a great honor to participate. Thank you.

>> Thank you very much, Pablo. Hajime, please, your final considerations.

>> HAJIME ONGA: Okay. Thank you very much for giving me this chance to join this informative discussion with your experience. Lastly I want to say that the next March is the tenth anniversary of the great eastern Japan earthquake. So please let me express our sincere gratitude once again. Thank you so much.

>> Thank you. All our solidarity to the Japanese people as well. Americo, please.

>> Thank you very much, Beatriz. What I want to say is that an emergency means it is always unexpected. If we plan ahead of time, we are likely to minimize the impact of the disaster. So what I would like to call upon is that each of the participants here who lives in a country that is prone to a certain type of disaster, there is a need to have a coordinated plan that's known by all the relevant stakeholders so that the reaction to disaster doesn't start when, for instance, the cyclone is announced that it is coming. You need to have ‑‑

[ Audio disruption ]

‑‑ there is a need to have infrastructure sharing. Typically in the telecom area when a disaster comes will not distract the network operators in the same way. You may have one or two operators that are up, but you will typically find that the customers that can use that network belong to another operator. So to have the ability of the operators to understand we are working in a disaster environment and to be able to start allowing the subscriber from another operator to use its network is very important.

So sharing infrastructure is a must normally, but in a disaster situation it is even a bigger requirement. Those are some of the words that I would like to place here as a concluding remark.

>> Thank you very much. Alison, please. Don't worry about the dog. We like dogs.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: Thank you. I was saying what I said before was really just to emphasize that I think the pandemic presents slightly different challenges ‑‑ well, significantly different challenges for us. I think it is incumbent on us to look at the national level of what we do to get digital inclusion so people can mitigate these effects in many parts of Africa lockdowns could not be enforced. People would have starved to death. They couldn't get to clinics for help, et cetera.

So if we are going to mitigate the effects of the next pandemic we have to get more people online, more people able to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic and particularly the economic lockdowns and impacts.

If we think of these disasters we have been speaking about, you know, months without electricity these are devastating consequences. We have had them for a year. Millions of people lost their jobs. Economies destroyed entirely. We have to have systemic solutions at the national level. But these require global cooperation because, as I said, these are increasingly global public goods. Cybersecurity, data governance, data protection, the internet. These are public goods. People have to have universal access to them.

>> Thank you very much, Alison. Thank you very much to everyone. I think it was ‑‑ I have learned a lot during this one hour and a half with you. Thank you very much for all the amazing contributions and information that was shared with us.

I totally agree with you that we need to keep going with this kind of topics in the IGF. Thank you IGF for hosting and receiving ‑‑ accepting the proposal for Anatel and the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee for organizing the workshop here.

Thanks also to Vinicius, all the team from Brazil helping us organize this.

Thank you for the more than 40 people that were with us attending in this workshop and thank you for having me hosting this conversation. I wish you good continuation for the IGF this week. Thank you. Bye.

>> Thank you, Beatriz. All the best to everyone. Tais, Alison. Vinicius, thank you for helping me to get into this. It was very cumbersome. Thank you.

>> VINICIUS SANTOS: No problem. Thank you for being here.

>> TAIS NIFFINEGGER: Thank you, everybody. For participating. It was very good.

>> PABLO RODRIGUEZ: Thank you all.

>> VINICIUS SANTOS: Thank you very much.

>> Tais, you have a beautiful background.

>> HAJIME ONGA: Thank you.

>> Bye‑bye.

 

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