“Building the Internet Collectively”
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Minister Cathy Hughes addressing the conference (DPI Photo)
Minister Cathy Hughes addressing the conference (DPI Photo)

Internet Week Guyana 2017 was a success
By Jamall Adams
OVER the past week, members of the Caribbean Internet Community (CIC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Telecommunications hosted the first annual Internet Week Guyana (IWG).

The aim of this initiative is to address local and regional Internet development issues and to provide solutions to these evolving problems. The high-level technology conference was held at the Pegasus Hotel from October 9 -13 2017, as part of celebrating International Internet Week 2017. Stakeholders from the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), and the Internet Society (ISOC), were all part of the success of this event.

Bevil Wooding addressing the audience

On the opening day which was dubbed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Awareness Day, the main focus was to introduce proposed topics which would be discussed extensively during the course of the remaining days of the event. In attendance were members from both the local and international Internet community, who were interested in educating themselves on Internet development issues. There was also a demand for information, which will enable them to provide solutions to these technological problems, which was given to them throughout the course of the day by different presenters.

Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes, who was also in attendance on the opening day, in a brief address to the audience, stated, “Internet Week will aid in the country achieving the ninth Sustainable Development Goal, which addresses the right to access the internet and broadband connectivity.” She further stated that the expertise and knowledge of the participating companies are vital to Internet development in Guyana. “They are essential keys to us being able to share the foundation of how this Internet works, I have been able to benefit from a great relationship from these organisations and from the Caribbean Telecommunications Union.” Minister Hughes said.

Gerard Best, (Third from left) talking with stakeholders

On the second day of the conference, stakeholders were a part of Internet Governance Day, which focused on the establishment of Guyana’s National Internet Governance Forum, or IGF. This aspect of IWG was jointly lead by ISOC and ICANN, two companies that are steadfast in their drive toward technological developments.

On October 11, CaribNOG hosted a Cybersecurity Day, which highlighted the security threats facing Caribbean networks and techniques for defending them.

“It’s not a secret that the Caribbean is more vulnerable when it comes to cyber-attacks and cybercrime, so our job is to prevent the above-mentioned by any means necessary. And in doing this, we need to raise awareness, be proactive and keep educating ourselves on the new technical capacity of the Internet which will make our jobs easier,” said Bevil Wooding, Executive Director of CaribNOG and Caribbean Outreach Liaison at the American Registry for Internet Numbers.

LACNIC held an open forum and discussed the benefits of IPv6 On October 12, which addressed the depletion of unallocated numbering resources in the region and around the world.

Minister Hughes stands with organisers

Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration at LACNIC, an organisation that distributes and manages Internet number resources in the Caribbean and Latin America, during a brief interview, said, “LACNIC is privileged to be a part of this event and looks forward to participate in the upcoming years. He also stated that LACNIC’s obligation is to enhance knowledge about Internet numbering resources, so it’s important that the company takes part in events like these, which provides adequate information to Internet users.

IWG closed out on October 13 by celebrating Youth ICT Day, which was organised by the CTU. Youths in attendance had a chance to obtain several useful digital skills and information from experience professionals.

“Internet Week Guyana represents an invaluable opportunity for the Guyanese Internet stakeholders to benefit from the high level of collaboration among international Internet players such as the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, the Caribbean Network Operators Group, the Internet Society, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the American Registry for Internet Numbers and the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry. Guyana, and by extension the Caribbean, is taking the lead in cooperation among major Internet actors, for the benefit of local communities,” Gerard Best, Communications Coordinator for Internet Week Guyana, told the Pepperpot Magazine.

Spectators and organisers were both pleased by the outcome of the conference at the closing date and are very optimistic when it comes to planning and preparing for next year’s event.

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