Bevil Wooding

Tech Matters: Building the Human Networking to Grow the Caribbean Internet

by Bevil Wooding

The inaugural Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Connection Forum (CarPIF), held in Barbados last April, quietly marked the opening of a new chapter in the development of the Internet in the Caribbean.
Such gatherings, called peering forums, are designed to bring together senior decision makers from internet service providers, cloud providers, content delivery networks and other related entities in a neutral environment to discuss the interconnection of their networks. Peering forums are commonplace in other regions, from Europe and North America, to Africa and Latin America.

Peering Matters

Why are peering forums important? Simple – Interconnection of the computer networks that comprise the Internet is dependent on human networking to establish those connections. The functionality we enjoy when we view a photograph, watch a video posted by someone half-way around the world, or send an email to a friend in a distant land is brought about by the decision of network and cloud service providers to interconnect their network. The quality of the service we receive from those providers is dependent, among other things, on how far or near those interconnection points are from sender and the recipient.
This is why CarPIF was such a special and historic event. It was the first time such a forum was organized to specifically encourage greater interconnection among providers delivering Internet content and services to Caribbean consumers. It was also the first time the economic underpinnings of the peering arrangements that define the Internet, were discussed in such a context, using Caribbean data and Caribbean examples to a Caribbean audience.
Importantly, the event saw peering coordinators from the Caribbean building relationships directly with their international counterparts from major Internet companies such as Google and Akamai. Peering forums are a main way for service providers to establish the relationships and
agreements that allow them to get content closer to final destination. The actual events may not have public appeal, however, their outcomes can directly influence the quality of internet services, and economic opportunities in a region.

IXP Enabled Development
Peering can be defined as the exchange of data between IP networks on primarily a settlement free basis. Network providers such as Cable and Wireless, Sprint, Digicel and others own high-speed connections that make up the Internet. These providers transfer data between each other at locations called “peering” points or Internet Exchanges. At these sites the networks ‘meet’ or interconnection with one another over so called layer-2 infrastructure. These systems are then globally tied together by connecting high-capacity fiber optic lines owned by network service providers.
The proliferation of Internet exchange points in the Caribbean has created the opportunity for content providers to now deliver their content closer to Caribbean audiences. In practical terms, this can translate into a tangible improvement in the quality of Internet surfing experience for users. YouTube videos, for example, can be download with little to no buffering, because internet servers can deliver them from a local source, as opposed to a far way international source.
“The ever-increasing amount of video and other rich media content is placing new demands on the Internet. Peering is now an essential component of most network strategies to improve their customer experience and cost efficiencies,” said Martin Hannigan, Director, Networks and Data Center Architecture for Akamai Technologies, a major cloud computing services and content delivery network (CDN) provider.
“This Caribbean peering forum was a great opportunity to meet our customers in the region and establish important new connections. We are actively exploring options for putting our content caches at the internet exchange points that are being built in the Caribbean.”
In the past, when there were no internet exchange points in the Caribbean, service providers like LIME and Columbus (FLOW) would have to pick up the content all the way in Miami, or elsewhere, to deliver to local users. With the implementation of local IXPs in the Caribbean, ISPs can now all benefit by picking up the content users want to access much closer to home at content caches stored at the IXP. And that’s a good thing for Caribbean Internet users.

First of Many
The CarPIF event organized by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), a volunteer-based community of Caribbean technology practitioners. It attracted over forty technology experts from major regional and international Internet companies, telecoms regulators and Internet exchange point operators to Barbados. Organizers intend to make it an annual event and plans are already afoot for a second, larger CarPIF event in Curacao in 2016.
The meeting was supported by two non-profit internet organizations, Packet Clearing House (PCH) and the Internet Society (ISOC), along with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union. It agenda included expert speakers from major internet organizations including Google, Akamai, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and the Latin American Internet Registry (LACNIC).

Milestone not Destination
The fact that the region’s first peering forum has been so successful is testament to the increasing maturity of the Caribbean Internet community, and the increasing regard for that community by international players in the Internet space.
There is certainly cause to celebrate the positive strides the Caribbean has made in deploying critical Internet infrastructure over the past few years. However, there is still considerable room for improvement, particularly as it relates to the reliability and efficiency delivery of Internet content to Caribbean consumers.
Implementation of some exchange points is still being hindered by oppositional and self-serving actions of dominant ISPs, seemingly to be desperate to cling to models of operation that are proven to not be in the interest of consumers or market growth.
There is also room for greater technical training and broader local community awareness and support, especially from developers of local content and services.
The process of changing attitudes, increasing awareness, encouraging innovation and fostering greater collaboration amongst competitors and encouraging will take time.
The inaugural CarPIF is a great milestone, but the journey to a more robust and resilient
Caribbean Internet has only just begun.

Bevil Wooding - Profile PhotoBevil Wooding is an Internet Strategist for Packet Clearing House (PCH), a US-based non-profit research organization. He is also a founding member of the Caribbean Network Operators Group. Follow on Twitter: @bevilwooding

Google Commits to Supporting Caribbean IXPs

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados—The first-ever Caribbean Peering and Internet Connection Forum (CarPIF) successfully concluded with commitments from Internet companies Akamai Technologies and Google to pay closer attention to the needs of Caribbean Internet service providers and consumers.

More than 40 regional and international technology experts met in Barbados on May 27 and 28 to discuss strategies for improving the economics and technical efficiency of Internet content delivery in the Caribbean.

The meeting, organised by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), explored the state of Caribbean Internet infrastructure, the impact of local Internet exchange point (IXP) deployment in the region, and practical steps for improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of Internet service across the region.

The gathering was supported by two non-profit Internet organisations, Packet Clearing House (PCH) and the Internet Society (ISOC), along with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union.

It attracted Internet service providers, including Cable & Wireless and Columbus Networks, as well as telecommunications regulators and IXP operators from across the Caribbean. International participants included the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and the Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC), search-engine giant Google, and Akamai, the world’s largest content delivery network provider.

“The success of the region’s first peering forum is testament to the increasing maturity of the Caribbean Internet community, and the increasing regard for that community by international players in the Internet space,” said Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist with PCH and a main organiser of the event.

He said that while the region recently made “positive strides” in establishing critical Internet infrastructure, there was still “considerable room for improving the reliability and efficient delivery of content to Caribbean consumers.”

Wooding, one of the co-founders of CaribNOG, is responsible for establishing the peering forum, together with Shernon Osepa, Regional Outreach Manager for ISOC, an organisation that encourages and supports peering forums in other parts of the world.

“ISOC was pleased to be able to work together with the CaribNOG community and Packet Clearing House to stage this first peering forum in the Caribbean,” Osepa said.

Arturo Servin, who works on content delivery and peering for Latin America, the Caribbean and the Iberian Peninsula at Google, shared on the mega corporation’s experience in bringing its content closer to Caribbean customers. Google Inc. is the company behind popular Internet services such as YouTube and Gmail.

“Google wants to bring its content as close as possible to Caribbean audiences,” Servin said. “We are currently exploring options that will allow us to better service Internet service providers and IXPs in small markets like those in the region.”

Google committed at the meeting to support IXPs in the Caribbean, and used the opportunity to meet face to face with IX operators and regulators from across the region.

“This was a great opportunity to meet our customers in the Caribbean and establish new connections,” said Martin Hannigan, ?Director, Networks and Data Center Architecture at Akamai Technologies.

“These types of gatherings are commonplace in other regions, so it’s great to see the Caribbean establishing CarPIF and putting things in place to make it possible for consumers and businesses to have a better Internet experience. That improved customer experience is the real point of peering and it’s what matters most.”

Organisers announced plans for the second CarPIF event to be staged in Curacao in June 2016.

Google, Netflix to join Caribbean Internet providers for CarPIF

By Gerard Best

If you live in the Caribbean, you don’t need to be a computer expert to know that the region’s Internet services need to improve.
If your connection falters so often that you’ve long since stopped calling customer service for redress, then you’ve got a pretty good idea about the challenges of regional connectivity.
Or if you’ve ever tried to launch a web-based startup, but have found yourself at a competitive disadvantage simply because download or upload speeds aren’t cutting it, then you have already have a decent understanding of why the region needs more robust Internet infrastructure.
No further expertise needed.
Of course, fixing the underlying issues that cause those problems is another matter, requiring technical expertise, commerce negotiations and a healthy dose of good old-fashioned collaboration.
That’s precisely the mission of the Bevil Wooding, Shernon Osepa and a volunteer group of Caribbean Internet experts going by the name CaribNOG. They are behind the upcoming Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Forum (CarPIF) to be held in Barbados from May 27 to 28.
The event is being organised by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), with support from Packet Clearing House (PCH), the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). It will bring together high-level Internet industry players from across the region and around the world.
It marks the first time that Caribbean Internet service providers and major international content providers such as Google, Akamai and Netflix, will be gathering in the Caribbean for this kind of interaction, said Wooding, Internet Strategist with PCH.
“Internet Peering fora are commonplace in other regions of the world. They are used to bring Internet service providers and content providers from across the spectrum of the Internet ecosystem into one space to build relationships, broker agreements and discuss matters related to the development and strengthening of the peering relationships that underpin the Internet,” Wooding told the Guardian.
As an outcome of the upcoming CarPIF, regional consumers can look forward to a more stable, resilient, efficient Caribbean Internet, he said.

Growing Caribbean Internet economy
Shernon Osepa, Manager, Regional Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean at ISOC, said “the forum is a testament to the growth and maturity that has taken place in the Caribbean Internet landscape over the past few years.”
He explained that the meeting will address “strategies for encouraging and increasing local digital content development, and opportunities for content delivery network operators in the Caribbean.”
Internet exchange point (IXP) operators, infrastructure providers, Internet service providers (ISPs), policymakers and regulators make up the list of registered attendees for the event. The wide range of participants will gain valuable insight into “how the Caribbean can maximise the opportunities that can be derived for greater interconnection and peering,” said Bernadette Lewis, secretary general of the CTU.
That organisation has been playing a major role in bringing regional governments into a greater appreciation of the value of creating a healthy regional Internet ecosystem. Strengthening the region’s critical Internet infrastructure is now widely understood to be a necessary first step to strengthening its Internet economy, as online commerce remains a largely underexploited way for local businesses to deliver local services for local Internet users.

Cable & Wireless Acquisition Ignites Monopoly Fears in the Caribbean

US$3B Deal to Acquire Columbus Raises Concerns, Highlights Vulnerabilities in Caribbean Telecom Sector

by Bevil Wooding

Bevil Wooding - Profile PhotoWhen Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) announced an agreement to acquire Columbus International, news of the deal sparked widespread concerns about the impact of reduced competition on consumer pricing, infrastructure investment and wider economic development in the Caribbean.

If approved, the deal will make CWC the Caribbean’s largest wholesale and retail broadband service provider. At the same time, it will return several Caribbean territories into monopoly or near-monopoly markets for telephony, cable TV and broadband services.

Game Changer

“This is a game changer for Cable & Wireless—it puts us very much back on the map,” CWC chief executive officer Phil Bentley said on an investors’ conference call to discuss the acquisition. He referred to the deal as “a great opportunity” for CWC to “build scale and become the dominant player” in bundled cable TV, Internet and phone services in the region.

The acquisition is a major win from the perspective of the once dominant, 143-year-old telecommunications giant. The company previously enjoyed monopoly protection across much of the English-speaking Caribbean. Since de-monopolization began in the late nineties, however, CWC’s slowness to adapt has contributed to its market position being steadily eroded by new, nimble players such as Columbus and Digicel.

In 2013, then UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications, having already separated from the purely UK-focused Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2010, moved its operations and leadership team to Miami, Florida. The firm now serves 2 million customers in thirteen Caribbean countries with fixed telephony, broadband, cable TV, and mobile services. Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange, CWC now makes US$1.12 billion in revenue each year from the Caribbean, or about US$48 per customer per month. It has spent the better part of the past decade shedding costs, restructuring and centralizing decision-making in an attempt to escape stagnation. With the Columbus acquisition, CWC is positioning itself to regain market-dominance.

The acquisition is still dependent on shareholder consent and also requires regulatory approval in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados. If it goes through, CWC will have immediate access to a more modern, more extensive network infrastructure and greater market reach through ownership of Columbus’ three operating divisions—its lucrative subsea wholesale network, operated by Columbus Networks; its business solutions division, trading under the brand Columbus Business Solutions; and its consumer-brand Flow, which currently services households in the Caribbean with cable TV, broadband and landline voice services.

Columbus, registered in Barbados yet managed from Ft Lauderdale, Florida, has grown over the past ten years to serve forty-two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Canadian billionaire John Risley, American billionaire John Malone, and founder and CEO Brendan Paddick together hold 84.8 percent of the privately owned company. The three would own 36 percent of the new CWC, worth nearly US$800 million.

For the year ended 2013, Columbus had revenues of US$505 million and net profits of US$104 million from a customer base of just over seven hundred thousand, representing about half of all households in the Caribbean territories in which it operates, and an average revenue per customer of about US$60 per month. It also disrupted markets with acquisitions, technology innovations and aggressive market entry tactics. Its Internet offerings are at prices as much as eighty percent lower than comparable services from CWC, its largest competitor in the region. However, its growth has not been without challenges. After doubling its market footprint last year with the acquisition of Karib Cable, doing business in four additional eastern Caribbean countries, the company struggled with network build-outs and launch delays, exposing its technical and human capacity limitations.

Signs of a potential union were first seen last May when the two companies announced a joint venture to share an undersea cable network connecting forty-two countries and spanning more than 42,000 kilometers. The agreement created an entity with control of almost ninety percent of the region’s subsea cable infrastructure and raised the first red flag to regulators across the region.

As with that joint venture, both companies are now doing their best to make the case that this full-blown acquisition is good for the market and good for consumers. Brendan Paddick, Columbus’ CEO, claimed that “combining our businesses makes both companies stronger, faster and smarter in competing with larger competitors.”

Here’s the catch: there won’t be two companies after the acquisition, and there won’t be any larger competitiors. Combining the businesses will make CWC the largest wholesale broadband provider, and a dominant or outright monopoly “quad-play” provider, commanding the markets for the four principle communications services—mobile, broadband, cable TV and landline—in the Caribbean.

News of the proposed acquisition has not been well received by Columbus’ customers. Columbus’ Flow-branded social-media sites have been overrun with negative sentiments from customers, who have also started a movement on ipetition.com, with the headline “Vote NO to the Cable & Wireless/LIME acquisition of Columbus Communication/FLOW.” Unfortunately, only stockholders have a vote; the Caribbean public has no direct say in the transaction.

Changing Landscape

What of Digicel, the Caribbean’s largest mobile provider, and the only other significant

telecom player in the region? In a release, they said: “This proposed transaction raises a considerable number of issues for telecommunications regulation and competition generally in the region. The issues that will need to be addressed include such matters as fairness in spectrum allocations, local loop unbundling, price bundling generally as well as a myriad of other likely issues … and the likely resultant impact on the telecoms market in the region.”

Digicel’s concerns are not surprising given the company’s dependence on wholesale broadband and network services from Columbus and CWC. Probably sensing that consolidation was in the cards, Digicel has made several maneuvers over the past year to safeguard its position. It recently acquired regional sports broadcaster SportsMax and bought cable TV companies in six markets in as many months. Digicel has also made significant investments in terrestrial fibre build-outs in Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. In its latest venture, it entered the subsea bandwidth arena by purchasing Global Caribbean Fibre, giving it submarine fibre assets in the eastern Caribbean.

If Digicel gets its acquisition act in order, it might be able to extend its strength in the mobile space to the quad-play market, presenting additional challenges to regulators. But it would take years and hundreds of millions more dollars in investments before Digicel can match the new CWC in terms of capacity or reach—so it offers little challenge at present to the proposed monopoly.

Race for Market Domination

The limited capacity of its largest commercial competitor to respond is one of the reasons why, from a business standpoint, the Columbus acquisition makes strategic sense for CWC. It is also why governments, regulators and consumers should be very concerned. With the proposed acquisition in hand, CWC can consolidate its service footprint in the region, profiting handsomely in the process. According to filings with the London Stock Exchange, CWC estimates that the combined entity would be able to achieve “recurring annualized pre-tax cost synergies of about $85 million.”

Analysts at Jefferies, a global investment firm, say the acquisition “eliminates the competitive risk that would have remained had Columbus remained as a (strong) rival.” What the Jefferies analysis understates is that the sheer reach and scale of combined CWC and Columbus broadband, landline, mobile and cable operation creates an effective monopoly in the form of a market-dominant competitor that will overshadow the efforts of smaller competitors.

Unanswered Questions

This deal between CWC and Columbus may have been transacted in the UK and US, but the brunt of its impact will be felt by Caribbean stakeholders. The benefit to CWC and financial rewards to a handful of Canadian and American investors, cannot distract from the fact that the acquisition directly threatens all aspects of economic development within the region, raising many concerns:

Gaps in Regulatory Structure

The deal exposes in the most extreme manner the limitations of the present situation of optional, ad hoc cooperation among national and sub-regional regulatory authorities. The acquisition agreement adds fuel to a growing debate on whether national regulatory bodies can stand up to the might and reach of firms trading at a multinational level. It also brings fears of a return to the days of high prices, poor service and general arrogance that defined CWC in the heyday of its monopoly in the region.

The potential for monopoly behavior is compounded by the absence of competition regulation in several countries and lack of any effective regional body to regulate competition. Barbados and Jamaica both have working competition legislation and competition agencies. Trinidad and Tobago’s recently established competition body has no authority over telecommunications services, but its telecom regulator does have the authority to amend service provider concessions in the event of an acquisition or change of ownership. Regulators and governments in the eastern Caribbean territories, where there is not competition legislation, are searching for other options to safeguard consumers and markets.

Nevertheless, none of these countries, individually, have the leverage to impact a CWC near-monopoly by way of regulation. Given than these markets are simply too small to wield individual influence, will it be possible for them to pool their resources and collective resolve?

Challenges to Innovation

The acquisition would bring the more than three thousand Columbus employees into the CWC fold, almost doubling CWC’s current staff. CWC may be hoping for the Columbus culture to energize its operations, but it is difficult to imagine that the latter’s enterprising culture and appetite for fast-paced innovation will rub off on CWC’s time-honed bureaucratic, top-down approach.

If CWC is unable to inspire or retain key Columbus staff, the integration of Columbus into their fold could leave the company a larger, slower and more debt-laden version of its current self. This would stymie growth and curtail innovation, not merely of the corporation but of Caribbean economies. This could reverse the gains of the de-monopolization process of the past fifteen years.

Service Disruptions and Layoffs

CWC in its filings indicated that it expects to achieve cost savings of approximately US$85 million, of which more than two-thirds will come from “rationalization of overlapping headcount in back office, sales and marketing and customer service roles, renegotiation of vendor rates, reduction of real estate costs and harmonization of IT systems.” If these “savings” are realized through staff layoffs, service cuts, elimination of market choice, fewer business continuity options and cancelled future development projects, how much greater is the cost to the economy as a whole?

The merger of the employee groups will also have to include integration of CWC’s highly unionized environment with Columbus’ largely nonunionized employees, restructuring of staff and possibly harmonization of employment terms. This process can result in labor-related actions, employee flight and other disruptions to core business. It remains to be seen how many staff and projects of either company will survive the acquisition.

Obstacles to Future Infrastructure Investment

Prior to the acquisition announcement, CWC had promised a US$1 billion “capital investment led strategy” while Columbus had spent nearly US$500 million on actual network build in the prior three years. It is uncertain whether the region will continue to benefit from the same level of infrastructure investment and all of its follow-on economic benefits or see it lost as the companies consolidate their portfolios.

Safeguarding Consumer Interests

Given the strategic importance of telecommunications and Internet connectivity to the Caribbean’s economic and social development, concerns created by the proposed acquisition—covering infrastructure development, consumer prices, employment, service quality, and consumer choice—need to be addressed quickly and comprehensively.

The companies’ shareholders and owners have no particular reason to evaluate these concerns from the perspective of the Caribbean stakeholders. The responsibility falls to Caribbean governments, regulators, businesses, and consumers to make their voices heard.

The disparate expressions of disappointment, disquiet, fear and concern being raised across the region must be focused into strong statements of objection to Cable & Wireless. This will underscore the seriousness of the situation and is the first step toward more robust oversight of the critical Caribbean telecommunication sector. It will also be a strong signal to Caribbean regulators that they must act in concert to meet the challenge of multinational monopolization and limit the damage it will otherwise impose upon regional economies.

Bevil Wooding is an Internet Strategist with Packet Clearing House (www.pch.net) an international non-profit organization responsible for providing operational support and security to critical Internet infrastructure. Follow on Twitter: @bevilwooding

Creating Caribbean futures: Why data infrastructure upgrades are the next step in regional evolution

Many Caribbean livelihoods are made and lost around seasonal fluctuations in foreigners’ travel. For much of the region, tourism, an all-too-inefficient form of intraregional human traffic, is economic lifeblood. But for one group of Caribbean islands, a different kind of traffic is generating a new model for intraregional economic partnership.

Internet traffic—data packets that move across telecommunications networks—is opening new economic possibilities to countries with a historical dependence on tourism. The governments of Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines are now working together to update their on-island Internet infrastructure, as part of a wider project to upgrade the data networks across the region.

Junior Mc Intyre, head of Caribbean Telecommunications Union's Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program coordination unit, addresses regional tech experts during CaribNOG 8, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, October 1. PHOTO: GERARD BEST
Junior Mc Intyre, head of Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program coordination unit, addresses regional tech experts during CaribNOG 8, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, October 1. PHOTO: GERARD BEST

The Caribbean Telecommunications Union has been tasked with stewardship of the project, called CARCIP, the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program. Funded by a US$25 million-dollar allocation from the World Bank, the project has had some success in reducing the gaps in regional broadband connectivity, in order to fostering technology-based innovation.

“We have reached a considerable way towards identifying the countries’ infrastructure gaps and providing technical recommendations to address them,” said Junior Mc Intyre, head of the CTU project team.

“And we have already started the development of business incubators, skills development and certification programmes.”

Mc Intyre was addressing an audience of 100-plus regional technology experts participating in the eighth regional gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group, known as CaribNOG. The weeklong conference dedicated an entire day, aptly called CARCIP Day, to technical talks on strengthening and improving regional Internet infrastructure.

Christopher Roberts, CARCIP country coordinator in St Lucia, delivered the day’s opening presentation, explaining the benefits of one of the main infrastructure upgrades being implemented across the region—the Internet exchange point, known more commonly as an IXP.

The primary role of an IXP is to keep local Internet traffic local and to reduce costs associated with traffic exchanged between ISPs, Roberts said. He explained that an IXP is a facility where networks interconnect, facilitating the exchange of Internet traffic between Internet service providers.

St Lucia is the latest of eight countries to establish an IXP in the region. CARCIP coordinators Roxanne John (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) and Alice Bain (Grenada) confirmed that their countries were also actively working on fully realising the benefits of IXP deployment at the national level.

Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist with Packet Clearing House, said, “Globally, IXPs have been shown to improve quality of service to Internet subscribers by improving bandwidth, keeping local content local, reducing the operational cost for local data, building local economy by generating local content, encouraging entrepreneurship activity, and supporting other services such as e-government, e-learning, tax filing, multi-purpose identification cards, procurement.”

Simon Alexander, information technology manager of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), said, “The CARCIP Day forum has allowed us to have targeted discussions focusing on both the strengths and the weaknesses of sub-regional infrastructure development. The interactions are already having significant impact which could only redound to the region’s benefit.”

In a post-session interview, Claire Craig, doctoral researcher at The University of the West Indies, said, “Issues of access and connectivity are already dominating the Caribbean conversation about development. There will be a growing demand for access and connectivity caused by the increase in the percentage of Caribbean people using the Internet. This trend is already well documented in ITU Statistics 2014. The implementation of IXPs will address this problem and drive regional development.”
The theme of infrastructure development ran through the entire day. In a subsequent session, Nico Scheper, manager of Curacao-based Internet exchange AMS-IX Caribbean, walked participants through the range of services and business opportunities that it offered.

Arturo Servin, Google, gave an insider’s perspective on how Internet service providers in the Caribbean could use peering agreements to give their subscribers faster access to content from popular sites like Facebook or bandwidth-intensive services like Youtube or Netflix.

Carlos Martinez, chief technology officer of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), demonstrated how Caribbean Internet service providers and other network operators could use palm-sized devices distributed by European Internet registry RIPE-NCC to monitor and report on the efficiency of their Internet traffic routes.

Over five days, conference sessions cover a range of technology topics including cyber security, cloud computing and mobile broadband.
Co-sponsored by “LACNIC in the Caribbean 6”, an outreach initiative of the South America-based region Internet registry, the meeting brought together representatives from several international multi-stakeholder organisations such as ICANN, ARIN, ISOC, which facilitate collaborative decision-making in the public interest.
More information on CaribNOG 8-LACNIC Caribbean 6 is available at caribnog.org and lacnic.net/web/eventos/caribbean6.