Curacao

Experts join heads on Caribbean cybersecurity

Carlos Martinez (second from left), chief technology officer of the regional Internet registry for Latin American and the Caribbean (LACNIC) and Mark Korsters, chief technical officer of the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), talk with media at CaribNOG 8, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, September 30. Photo courtesy: LACNIC.
Carlos Martinez (second from left), chief technology officer of the regional Internet registry for Latin American and the Caribbean (LACNIC) and Mark Korsters, chief technical officer of the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), talk with media at CaribNOG 8, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, September 30. Photo courtesy: LACNIC.

The best way to improve the security of a computer network is to break into it.
That was the advice from cybersecurity expert Fernando Gont of SI6 Networks, speaking at the eighth regional gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) now underway in Curacao.

The slate of expert speakers presenting on cyber security included Mark Kosters, chief technical officer with the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) and Carlos Martínez, chief technology officer at LACNIC, who took a practical and in-depth look at the nuts and bolts of Internet security.

Martinez said he was “very, very disappointed” with the security industry because their operations were being motivated by the wrong incentives. He compared digital security to national security.

“It works the same way as a private prison. Their best interest is to keep things in a bad state. Their best business comes about by having a bad security situation. What is the financial incentive for them to improve the overall security situation? The best interest of the private prison is to have many prisoners but is that in the best interest of society? No, but the financial incentives of the security industry are wrong.”

Apart from cyber security, the meeting covers a range of technology topics including cloud computing, critical Internet infrastructure and mobile broadband.

For the group the social networking is as important as the computer networking. Between and after highly technical sessions, participants linger in pockets of conversation.

“The CaribNOG meeting is an interesting gathering where competitors in daily business become colleagues with the common interest in defending Caribbean networks,” said Bevil Wooding, one of the CaribNOG founders and an organiser of the weeklong event.

Interactions over meals and side meetings during breaks are a regular and important feature of the conference, which attracts technology professionals representing diverse interests from around the region and across the world.

The event is being held at the Hilton Curacao, Willemstad from September 29 to October 3.

JetBlue Introduces Non-Stop Service from New York to Curaçao

Curacao-willemstadWillemstad, Curaçao – JetBlue Airways has announced its new non-stop service from New York to Curaçao.  Beginning December 2, 2014, JetBlue will become the only airline to offer non-stop flights from New York to Curaçao.  In celebration of the new route, the airline is offering a limited-time introductory fare of $139 for travel each way to Curaçao for tickets purchased by August 6, 2014.*

“We have been working closely with the team at JetBlue to bring this flight to the island and are thrilled it has come to fruition and we’re able to announce it today,” said Curaçao’s Minister of Economic Development, Stanley Palm. “Curaçao continues to thrive as one of the Caribbean’s most diverse and culturally-rich islands and we look forward to now being able to share it with more visitors. New York is a top market for the island and we are confident that the new non-stop service on JetBlue will meet the demand we’ve seen from the northeast and international travelers alike.”

Flights will operate twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Saturdays between New York’s JFK International Airport and Curaçao’s International Airport. Flight service will depart New York at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays and arrive on island at 2:30 p.m. Return flights will depart Curaçao at 3:30 p.m. and arrive at 7:14 p.m.

“We are really excited to be able to offer customers the only nonstop route from New York to Curaçao and more nonstop flights to the Caribbean than any other airline,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President. “This beautiful island is our 31st Caribbean destination, and it is considered one of the nicest Caribbean escapes for discerning travelers thanks to its pristine beaches and clear waters.”

Curaçao is continuing to gain traction as one of the Caribbean’s premier islands. The new route allows even more travelers to seamlessly experience the island’s extraordinary cultural heritage and unrivaled offerings.

For additional information, please visit www.curacao.com or www.jetblue.com.

*Travel is valid between December 2, 2014 and February 10, 2015. Blackout dates are December 20, 2014 through January 3, 2015.

ABOUT CURAÇAO

Home to more than 35 captivating beaches, a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, ‘live and let live’ attitude and unrivaled European architecture; Curaçao remains one of the most exceptional islands of the region. Its capital city, Willemstad – a UNESCO World Heritage site – with its iconic colorful Handelskade backdrop and roster of museums, monuments, flavorful restaurants and shopping, was selected in 2013 as one of the Top 5 Cities in the Caribbean by Conde Nast Traveler’s readers.  Curaçao’s natural beauty, pristine diving and snorkeling sites are a favorite with divers and adventure seekers, and its beaches and idyllic weather, situated on the outer fringes of the Hurricane Belt, has won it further accolade and recognition. To learn more about Curaçao please visit www.curacao.com, call toll free 1.800.328.7222 or download our newest brochure at http://curacao.com/brochure. Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Curacaotb, Twitter: @CuracaoTravel or Instagram: CuracaoTB .

ABOUT JETBLUE AIRWAYS

JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 86 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 850 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, an overnight stay is never required and the first checked bag is free (subject to weight and size limits and exceptions for itineraries including flights marketed or operated by other airlines). For more information please visit JetBlue.com.

Columbus’ Cache Machine: Supporting the Regional Internet Economy

By Gerard Best

Craig Nesty, left, Executive Director of Dominica's National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC); Nico Scheper, Business Development Manager, Amsterdam Internet Exchange for the Caribbean; Kurleigh Prescod, Vice President of Network Services for the southern Caribbean at Columbus Communications, take part in a panel discussion at the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum, held at the World Trade Centre, Willemstad, Curacao on September 11, 2013.
Craig Nesty, left, Executive Director of Dominica’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC); Nico Scheper, Business Development Manager, Amsterdam Internet Exchange for the Caribbean; Kurleigh Prescod, Vice President of Network Services for the southern Caribbean at Columbus Communications, take part in a panel discussion at the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum, held at the World Trade Centre, Willemstad, Curacao on September 11, 2013.

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao – Failing to convert brilliant business ideas to real returns is costing online entrepreneurs big time. That’s why in the Caribbean, stakeholders are starting to pay close attention to external factors impacting their bottom line.

One such factor is the underdevelopment of critical Internet infrastructure in the region. Across the Caribbean, local Internet service providers (ISPs) are paying overseas carriers to exchange local Internet traffic between their local networks. This is an unnecessarily costly and inefficient way of handling in-country exchange of Internet traffic. And naturally, that expense and inconvenience are borne by the end-user.

But there is a better way, according to Kurleigh Prescod, Vice President of Network and ICT Services for the southern Caribbean at Columbus Communications, a major player in the regional telecommunications landscape.

Speaking at the 9th Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF) held at the Curacao World Trade Centre on September 11, Prescod acknowledged that the region was heavily dependent on foreign infrastructure for Internet access, especially U.S. infrastructure. But he shared valuable insights on how Columbus was responding to the regional challenge.

Citing the example of Grenada, Prescod identified the island’s Internet Exchange Point (IXP) as a key component of the critical infrastructure that allowed Columbus to work with other ISPs to exchange local Internet traffic between their networks without cost. Through the IXP, Internet traffic originating in Grenada now terminates on other local networks without having to go through lengthy, expensive, international routes, he said.

In Curacao, Columbus joined that island’s IXP (AMS-IX Caribbean), and is now working to support the Exchange’s caching operations.

“There are two sides to caching,” Prescod explained. “One is the caching box, which provides the content to the users. But you also have to get that content. So we are actually engaged in Curacao to provide that foreign content for those providers, cache it, and then serve it to the users.

“So not only are we a member of the AMS-IX, but we also serve the global Internet to all of the caching boxes in Curacao today. In the interest of supporting the development of the broadband economy here in Curacao, we thought it was important we do so.”

Prescod is also one of the vice presidents of a third Caribbean Internet Exchange recently incorporated as a non-profit company in Trinidad and Tobago. And he is hopeful that the southernmost Caribbean island will be next in line to successfully establish a fully functional Exchange.

“At this time, we’ve only gotten consensus around seven Internet Service Providers that there should be an Exchange,” he said. “We’ve sort of decided on a technical model and we’re looking over the two to six months to implement that model.”

Prescod was speaking as part of a multinational, multi-stakeholder panel discussion in the morning session of the CIGF. Alongside him were Nico Scheper (Netherlands), Craig Nesty (Dominica) and Bevil Wooding (Trinidad and Tobago). Their discussion emphasised the essential link between the performance of critical Internet infrastructure and the stimulation of the Internet economy in the region.

“Establishing a local IXP can bring many benefits to Caribbean citizens, including faster domestic Internet traffic exchange and a more resilient local network,” said Wooding in a post-event interview.

He added, “IXPs are a critical component of the local Internet economy, but they’re not the only component.”

As a whole, the Caribbean region is served by only six IXPs. Apart from Curacao, they are in the British Virgin Islands, Haiti, Grenada, St Maarten and Dominica.

Stakeholders from the Caribbean and Latin America gathered in Curacao to engage discuss and develop policies and structures for regional Internet governance. The CIGF, which was organised by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union at the request of the CARICOM Secretariat, emphasises a multi-stakeholder approach to the development of regional Internet Governance policy, drawing on the expertise and experiences of policy makers, regulators, service providers, content providers, consumer groups, academia, professionals, end users and other Internet interest groups in the region.