September 27, 2011 - 11:00am
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. 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 session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. My name is Janis Karlins and I'm Assistant Director‑General of UNESCO in charge of information and communication, and I warmly welcome you all to the workshop organized ‑‑ co‑organized by Economic Cooperation and Development, otherwise known as OECD, and Internet Society, otherwise known as ISOC, and UNESCO on the economic aspects of local content creation and local Internet infrastructure.
We will have a presentation of the results of the study. And I believe that's a four‑pager, right? So we will do a presentation of the study, then we will have comments and criticism of the results of the study by people who know how Internet works. And that is ‑‑ and then of course we'll be happy to listen, also experience from Kenya and Africa on the local content creation. And then of course we will be happy to engage in discussion of this issue.
But let me give you at the very beginning the background of the study, how we got there.
It comes to the IGF meeting where I had the chance to ISOC and OECD ‑‑ to talk to. And I agreed that we would conduct the study trying to see if there was any positive correlation between the volume of local content, which is kept on local Internet infrastructure, and the price that local Internet users are paying for access; in other words, prove that there is a direct economic interest in promotion of local content production.
We assumed at the beginning of our work that the consumption, the local consumption of the content would be majority local. In other words, for instance, which is very natural, that if we take Latvians or French or Italians, they would, first and foremost, consult websites and seek information in their respective languages, and that would be local news or news related to their countries or territories; and only after, they would seek information broader. That was the first assumption. And I think that we can reasonably think that about 80 percent of all consumption is local.
And another assumption was that the local traffic is always cheaper than international traffic. And the quality of local traffic is always better than international traffic, simply because the infrastructure is in place, the pipes are always thicker than the ‑‑ the local pipes are always thicker than international pipes. So these were two assumptions at the beginning of the study.
We did a data collection from different sources. And we approached ccNSO Council of ICANN through them, the registries around the world. We approached global Internet players. We also got some information from companies collecting Internet data to make this study.
So without further delay, I would like now to turn to Taylor Reynolds, who is the chief economist ‑‑ no, economist in OECD, who was the one who made bulk of analysis of data. And he will present the outcomes of the study.
Before joining OECD, Taylor worked at International Communications Union, the World Bank and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of United States.
And Taylor has a PhD in Economics from American University in Washington, D.C. So, Taylor, please.
>> TAYLOR REYNOLDS: Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to you today and to share with you this research that we are very excited about.
Let me make sure it comes up.
I want to briefly go through this report that we've put together. Janis has given you a very good overview, and I'm going to talk a little bit more about the research that we undertook.
First of all, I think we need to come up with a definition of what is local content? And that is something that was quite difficult for us to do as part of this research because it's not the easiest thing to define.
We put it down this way, though. We said the content that is most important to people is typically in their own language and it's relevant to the communities in which they live and work.
So then we dig down a little deeper and we say: These communities may be defined by location, culture, language, religion, ethnicity or an area of interest or something else.
And we also pointed out that individuals can be a member of multiple communities at a time, and also that these communities will change over time. People will move in and out of different communities throughout their lifetime.
So local content, we've said, is information that is relevant to any of the communities in which these people operate.
I want to start with a picture here. I just want to let you know that I saved you from seeing a picture of me jumping in a jumping dance with the man in the red in the back. He actually won, and I was not able to jump very high. But this is a picture of some Massai that we met just the other day.
So I thought how would we classify some of the communities for the Massai, for the Massai men that we met. First of all, we could say they're Kenyan or Tanzanian. Malatan community. They could be classified as Massai, by Swahili or English. They could be classified by religion or by common interests. For example, they could have an interest in animal husbandry. And I put this one, Samsung mobile phone users, because I asked one of them about his mobile phone. So this is just to show that there's a lot of communities that people fit into, and local content is the content that's relevant to those communities.
So we're very interested in this research because the Internet plays such an important role in knowledge. So what we did is we dipped into some of the research on knowledge sharing. And there's four stages that have been pointed out. It's creation of knowledge and culture, preservation, the dissemination of that knowledge and utilization in the community.
And you can see I've put down some technologies, some developments in each of these sections. For example, the pen and the pencil were a huge advancement in terms of creation of content.
You can see here, though, that the Internet actually fits in each one of these four categories. So there's Internet applications that help with creation. Internet helps with storage. Internet does hosting to disseminate content. And also for Internet access is how people use this content.
So to give you an example of how the Internet is being used to disseminate local content, this is a man that I've learned about. He operates a site or a podcast called Techtronic Sound. And what he is is he was an ordinary student and said I'm really interested in a certain type of music, so he gathered up music that was played by independent artists that submitted it to him and he built over 120 episodes of podcasts that are 45 minutes each. He's become a very large podcaster out of his own home in the United States. And he happened to grow up in the same area where I did. And it just showed how someone who wouldn't have an opportunity to become a major music distributor has been able to do this over the Internet.
So with this research, we were interested in three different aspects. We were interested in local content where we say more local content is good. We were interested in Internet infrastructure where we say more Internet connectivity, too, is good. And we're interested in network prices; we want lower prices, and that is good.
So the next thing we need to do in terms of the econometrics here is we need to test the relationships between these variables; but to do that, we have to develop measures of local content, Internet development and access prices.
In order to test this empirically, I have to have something that proxies for what local content is. So I wanted to go through the variables that we used in order to measure local content.
We divided local content into two different branches. One we said was measurements tied to an economy. And so we used web pages using a country code top‑level domain name per 100 inhabitants inside a country. And then we also looked at measurements tied to a unique language. For this we needed a number of Wikipedia articles per inhabitant and number of blogs per inhabitant. That lets us see local content developed for an economy or a specific language.
Next we move on to measuring infrastructure. And to do this, we use four different measures. We did broadband subscriptions. We did the number of autonomous systems per 100,000 inhabitants, which is the number of unique networks. We looked at the number of routed IPD4 addresses per capita, and we looked at international bandwidth per capita as a measure of Internet infrastructure.
Then, finally, for prices, we looked at several different things. For domestic Internet prices, we looked at the price for a monthly broadband connection. So how much you would pay to subscribe to broadband in a country? And on the international side, we looked at what is the average price for 155 megabits per second of IP transit. And that would be the full per price.
So now I want to move to the results. We have the indicators that we're using to test relationship and now we move on to the findings of this research.
This is a graphic that shows the relationships that we were able to identify. First of all, let me point out that you have ‑‑ on the top, you have two bars. And these are other factors that are demographic. This could be age, educational, geographical. And we have general economic performance on the bottom. Both of these things influenced local content and they influence Internet infrastructure. So we have accommodated those within our analysis.
Then, what we found was a strong relationship between local content and Internet infrastructure. And we found also a strong connection between Internet infrastructure and Internet prices.
So Janis was pointing out what is the connection between local content and Internet prices? Well, what this research shows is that it moves through Internet infrastructure as an intermediary.
So to point out some of the results that were quite interesting here, our strongest measure of local content was actually the number of Wikipedia entries in a given language. And you've got languages like Arabic, English, Spanish, French that are used in multiple countries. So what we did is we avoided those, and we only used countries that have a unique language associated, for example, Hungarian, Polish, Latvian. And we looked at the relationship there. And we found that there is a strong relationship between broadband and autonomous and international bandwidth. So this gives you an idea of local content measures are correlated with Internet development across‑the‑board.
Then we looked at the relationship between Internet and access prices. In order to do this, because prices are determined within a market, we had to say that international developments, in terms of capacity and domestic prices, were separate. So you can see that we found a connection between international bandwidth capacity and the price of a broadband subscription at home. So that was an important finding.
We also found that Internet development locally, so that the domestic level in terms of systems and broadband penetration rates are tied to the IP price. This is an interesting finding because it has results that cross over different sectors.
So this led us to a round of policy considerations because we see this interconnection between a couple slides back between local content, access prices and the Internet infrastructure.
So we broke down between three specific areas: Fostering content development, expanding connectivity and promoting competition. And for these we relied on much of the work that's already been done, in terms of competition and content development and Internet delivery. Liberalizing telecommunications markets is a way to promote competition which will have a link back and fostering content development.
One of the things that we pointed out that's extremely important is that governments put public sector data and make it available on the Internet.
So that's just a quick summary of some of the policy considerations. And thank you very much.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So thank you, Taylor, for this presentation. Now I will turn to Dawit Bekele, Regional Bureau Director for Africa, Internet Society, who was following the work and contributing to the work from ISOC side primarily.
Prior to joining ISOC, Dawit worked at university in computer science since 1994. In the past 10 years, he worked as a consultant for major international organizations such as United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO and World Bank. His activities allowed him to travel around Africa with a large number of information communication technology professionals of the continent. And Dawit ‑‑ he received his undergraduate, Master and PhD degrees from Université Paul Sabatier in France and degree in computer science. All degrees are in computer science. And Dawit is based in Ethiopia and worked from there. Dawit, please?
>> DAWIT BEKELE: Thank you, Janis. First of all, I would like to say that the Internet Society is very proud for participating in this very important study with OECD and UNESCO. I believe we, in a very short time, have been able to produce interesting results and also be able to find new questions, which is very important, in order to further the development of local content in the world.
I would like to talk a little bit more about the study and local content in general. And I will try not to repeat a lot of what Taylor has said.
While I can't agree more about the importance of local content on the Internet, because local content is really what makes the Internet relevant for most of the population of the world, I was in another session just before this one that talked about how Kenyans have used mobile in order to solve a very particular problem. I think many of you have heard by now Empresa, which is a local mobile currency. And it is used by local workers who generally have their families in the rural areas to send money. It started like that. It's now much more than that. But it was really a very local problem. The husband is working maybe Nairobi and he has his family in the rural area, then he has to send money on regular basis. And he generally has to find someone, and that was generally very difficult, someone he can trust who can go there, et cetera. Now, with Empresa, he can do it really without any problem. This is a very local problem. And it cannot be solved otherwise.
In a few years back, local content was really very limited on the Internet. In fact, Internet was considered as a way to look outside, not to look inside. And this was important, of course. There was a wealth of knowledge that we can get from the Internet. But it didn't solve many of the local problems.
Today, this is changing. I was quite surprised by the wealth of local content that exists in many of the countries that were included in the study. In China, where, in fact, the majority of the people are looking at local content, they are less interested in what is happening outside ‑‑ sometimes because there are bars to do it ‑‑ but very often because it is not in the language they understand; it is not about something that they are interested in.
Kenya, the same thing. There is more and more content. And not only interesting content, but in the format they want it. Because, for example, most Africans are using ‑‑ are accessing Internet through mobile media. And they are interested only in what they can really see in a reasonable format on their mobile. And unfortunately, most of the content that people in the developed world are producing is not in that format. So it is possible to have local content.
Now, something that many people are asking are local entrepreneurs competitive enough to produce for the Internet? In fact, what we can see that in fact they have a competitive advantage over international content producers because they know what the local people want. They know the local language. And, in fact, they have ‑‑ they can easily win in the competition because they have knowledge that the others don't have.
And I think some years ago, it was told that the world is flat, that we are all going to read the same news, to access the same content, et cetera. But what we realise is that, in fact, we are not ‑‑ in fact, the world is going to be even more local. Because we see that, for example, English was a predominant language on the Internet a few years back. Today, it is not. Today, we have a lot of content in Chinese. We have a lot of content in Swahili. And this is going to be more and more the case. So the world will have more and more local content. And it is going to be ‑‑ to give more and more business opportunity for local entrepreneurs.
There are challenges, of course. We see that, for example, the Internet penetration is not as high as it should be in some places of the world. In Africa, that penetration is still too low, less than 6 percent. But not all over Africa. There are countries in Africa that are doing very well.
The prices are not always low, but this is changing. Kenya is a very good example. Three years back, there was no cable landing on coasts of Kenya. Today there are three. And this is going to put down the prices and it will change a lot of things.
Governments. Governments are also, we are seeing it and the study shows it, there are more and more governments that are interested in promoting local content. There are more and more governments that are role models. And infrastructure is also changing. It's not only cables but local backbones are also increasing. So this is really encouraging. There are a lot of successes and opportunities.
I'm going to go quickly because I don't think I have too much time. Yeah. The success of mobile in Africa. Africa has become a mobile continent, not only with regards just to voice, but even with regard to Internet access. For example, most people in Africa access broadband using Evideo or 3G. And this is going to be the future. And I think, in fact, Africa has found a lot of solutions for its problem with regard to mobile. For example, prepaid has really got a lot of importance in Africa. And now I think the majority of people in Africa are using prepaid. And this is very important.
In conclusion, I believe that local community, local content empowers the community. It's only through local content that local communities can get the most of the benefit from the Internet. And it is good business. And it is where probably local entrepreneurs can make more business. Governments have major responsibility in promoting local content.
We have seen the study that local content can bring down the prices. I didn't talk a lot about some of the problems that we have, but I'm sure that you are going to have some discussions on that. But the infrastructure is also important.
For example, currently most of the local content is hosted outside the country. And this is some of the problems that we have to solve.
And the world is going to watch more of local content and not less. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So, thank you, Dawit, for your thoughts and experiences in Africa.
Now I am turning to Mr. Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist in Google, but widely known as one of the founding fathers of the Internet, the one to whom not to blame but to thank ‑‑
‑‑ for creating this wonderful tool.
He is a codesigner of ICP/IP protocol and Internet architecture in general. So we send advance copy of the study, and he is maybe a little bit in a better position than all of you in the room. He knows the study in details, not only from presentation, so he will give us his assessment and views on the results. Vint?
>> VINT CERT: Thank you very much, Janis. I guess it's still good morning, everyone. Let me remind you that there are many people who have had a lot to do with the creation of the Internet. The other Father of the Internet, Bob Kahn, who started the project, is also on the premises, although not in this meeting.
And I even saw Louis Pisano, who is the pioneer in the whole subject of datagrams, was in the previous meeting in the room. So you have a lot of dinosaurs roaming around in this part of the world if you haven't noticed.
Let me start out by saying local content, by the definitions you chose, which I think is quite clever and richly chosen ‑‑ is a clear source of growth of Internet utility. Without local content, the utility of the net is limited by the utility of distant information that might not be relevant, partly because it doesn't have anything to do with the local geographic conditions, business conditions or it's in a language which isn't accessible.
So local content is extremely important. And we've noticed historically that this is how things grew in Europe, for instance, where the Internet began with a lot of content in the United States, a lot of hosting in the United States. And then eventually we saw local infrastructure growing to meet the production of local content. We also saw traffic patterns changing as a consequence of that.
For many years, especially between countries, a lot of traffic in Europe, for example, would go to the United States before it got back to the other country. This was because a lot of the connectivity of the net was supplied by connections going between the U.S. and a particular country in Europe.
The same thing showed up in Latin America where a lot of connections went from a Latin American country to Miami and then back again.
All of that changed dramatically as more Internet grew in domestic terms and interexchange points were created in order to link local networks.
Let me turn to the behavior patterns and local content for a moment. At Google, we've noticed that people query different things, different kinds of things depending upon whether the query is coming from a mobile device or coming from a laptop or a desktop or a notebook.
When you are using a mobile, you are interested in information that you need where you happen to be at the time and when you happen to be at the time. So this is demand which is driven by an immediate need, typically. Whereas if you're sitting at a desk somewhere or you're home, the information you're looking for may have less to do with where you are than what you're interested in.
So we see very different patterns of query. We see a lot of interest in maps and understanding where are you now? Where can I find things that I'm interested in? What's going on in the local region?
So I think it's very appropriate to make a distinction between the information which one gets access to from the mobile and from other devices.
The other thing which I believe has distorted the statistics in African uptake of Internet is that I don't think that the data that says that, for example, Internet penetration is 6 percent, I don't think it takes into account the number of users of Internet who get access only through mobiles. I don't have a strong basis for making the assertion, and if someone else has better information than I do, I would accept the correction; but I would like to suggest to you that there is deeper penetration of Internet Africa than we think because the people who publish the statistics don't know what fraction of the mobile phones have Internet access. My guess, my guess is 15 to 20 percent are smartphones and have Internet capability. But I would suggest we should find out. We should ask that question and get data.
Just on this subject of data, and something which I applaud this report for having generated and analyzed as substantial collection of data, there is a famous professor in my world whose name is Richard Hemming. And he was famous for having said the purpose for numbers ‑‑ the purpose for measurement is not numbers. The purpose for measurement is insight. And that's what this report is trying to do, it's trying to turn the numbers into insight.
So I was excited by having real data. I liked the presentation in the report. When you see the charts and the graphs, they're very helpful. They give you a visual sense for the meaning of the information.
I have one small nit about one of the data elements. It has to do with statistics that are related to country code TLDs, ccTLDs. And the small nit is that not all of the ccTLDs are used in the same way. Many of them, probably most of them, have registrations that are specific to either individuals or institutions that are in‑country. But some of them are really being used and are branded as if they were generic top‑level domains. So .TV for example or .CC or .CO have been branded and advertised as useful for generic purposes as opposed to representing local businesses and local users. There's nothing wrong with that; it's just that the data that is intended to reflect local usage is distorted by the generic usage of some of those top‑level domains. I don't think it polluted the results of the report sufficiently to harm the conclusions at all, but further work on reports like this probably should take this into account.
I think the last thing I want to say before we get back into what I hope is a very rich interaction is that the local content has a great importance ‑‑ speaking for Janis here ‑‑ it has great importance because it can capture culture; it can capture language; it can capture history in ways that no other things can. And it's exciting, for me, to imagine that the Internet will become a repository for our stories on a global scale.
There are lots of issues associated with the preservation of digital information. I leave this for another discussion. But it is very important that we have a way of preserving and continuing to get access to this kind of culturally valuable and historically valuable information.
The last point I'd like to make, Mr. Chairman, is that at Google, we believe that a lot of information is inaccessible simply because it's in the language that we don't speak or don't read. And so we spent a good deal of time and energy to try to learn how to translate from one language to another. We do this in up to 50 different language pairs. So in theory, there could be 2500 different translations going from one direction to the other.
I will be the first to observe that the quality of the translations varies dramatically depending upon the language pair. Our techniques depend very heavily on having a large corpus of documents that are written in at least two different languages. And we use the statistical correlation of phrases in order to do translations. Without a large corpus, it's not possible to use the statistical technique very effectively.
So I want to encourage as much local content as possible and also some high quality translations of it so that we can ignite the automatic translation engine and make all of the content more accessible to everyone. So I'll stop there, Mr. Chairman, and thank you very much for the opportunity to intervene.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Actually we were trying to avoid those ccTLDs you mentioned because they do not represent in the local content in a direct sense. But what made our work rather difficult was the lack of accessible data in a time sequence.
>> VINT CERT: Yes.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So we could do a snapshot of 2010, but then when we looked back to 2009, '8, '7, '5, so the available data diminished dramatically. So that made our work very, very difficult. That means that we simply have to continue and collect data from now on to see these patterns in the future.
So, now I will turn to Mr. Muriuki Mureithi, I hope I pronounced your name correctly, who is the CEO of Summit Strategies Limited, the consultancy company working on ICT consultancy research, evaluation and market profiling.
And Muriuki will be sharing with us his thoughts and knowledge about local content creation situation in Kenya and also in other African countries. So, please.
>> MURIUKI MUREITHI: Thank you, Chair, for the introduction. Yeah, my name is Muriuki Mureithi, and I am an ICT consultant in the private sector. And I think what brings me here ‑‑ and I can see a lot of my friends ‑‑ is a lot of passion in development of ICT. I've been involved in the development of ICT in the African continent for a long time, so I would like to share some of the experiences in terms of driving the utility of the Internet.
And I'd like to go back to about 15 years ago. Things were not very good in Africa. If you look at some of the indicators we had, for example, penetration. We were talking about less than 1 phone for every 100 people. And so there are charges of being able to use the Internet. So by 1986 we only had Internet in two countries, one in the north Egypt, one in the south, South Africa. The less of Africa, what you were talking about was stored and forward. You like to email. You send it to a point there where it will be picked along and distributed. And some of this would take about six hours before the mail is even picked for Internet. Thank you very much.
And so at that time, there was a lot of struggle. Are we going to remain like that? So institutions like ITU, UNESCO, UNC and also African agencies like EU and HU came together in establishing a think tank that is African Information Society Initiative. One of the members was appointed in that committee, and the first meeting we held we did in Egypt, supported by IDEC in 1986. So we were asking ourselves: For how long Africa was left behind in the industrial revolution? Are we also going to be left behind? Okay. We're still behind. But how can we move so that we'll be in tandem with other countries?
So out of the discussions that took place within the African Information Society think tank, we came up with a framework known as the African Information Society Initiative.
And the key thing coming out of the ICS, yes, we need infrastructure, it was missing; but more important, the infrastructure must have a purpose, that was content. That purpose is still here, but it is not accessible in our books, in our stories, all over, but is not accessible.
And so what the IC say is come up with a framework, 15‑year framework that by 2010, we are going to have infrastructure to our house, to our villages, but most importantly also to be able to deliver the content.
And so out of that recommendations from that, some institutional infrastructure was established. Institutions like UNECA, ITU and also UNESCO also came up in support of this, plus other agencies like IDRC and so through that, we have seen countries engaged in that process. So the key thing was: All the countries or 90 percent of the companies had monopolies. And those monopolies were government‑controlled.
And so one of the issues that IC tried to support is liberalization, which has been mentioned 10 minutes ago. The intention was that we have to open up, bring in other players and therefore expand the development of ICT infrastructure and also content.
So going down the road, we have gone far. We have Internet all the countries in Africa. But I think at this point, our charge is this Internet is largely in our capitals. We still have charges to take it to the rural areas. But most importantly content that is relevant to the community in our countries.
So when I look at Kenya as an example, some years ago, 10 years ago, we have that charge. Government was hands off. Actually was very, very ‑‑ did not want to talk about Internet. But today, the government is very supportive and very proactive, has been broadly liberalized. We built infrastructure. But then the government also realized that there's some areas that private sector is not going on the business of economics. The government is coming and putting infrastructure.
But research is showing that the value of that infrastructure will be enhanced if we can be able to enhance the use value. The studies that we have carried out show the use value of that infrastructure will be enhanced by content and content that is relevant to our population.
So, what are we doing now? First, the government is very proactive, supporting infrastructure, supporting studies on content. And the government says that we are going to be the forefront.
So three months ago, the government of Kenya put out all its content on the Web, open government, and has even gone further to support entrepreneurs. This content is out there. Can you work on it? Develop some applications that will be able to empower Kenyans? And through this process, it's even encouraging by competition. The civil society is also involved in developing of content. The private sector, we have also seen some initiatives. But I think as of now, the greatest challenge that we are facing as a country is developing business models, sustainable business models that will produce the content on a sustainable basis and that is available.
So this is where we are. And the government has established an agency, Kenya ICT board. And one of the ‑‑ is to support the development of content creation. And has gone far, as I said, supporting competition, and even giving grants for entrepreneurs to develop content.
So the charge we are right now is developing models that will produce content sustainably. Mr. Chairman, I think we will have a chance to develop that further. Thank you very much.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you for your presentation and also little walk back in the history of development of Internet here in Africa. It's very interesting.
So now I'm turning to Mr. Tarek Kamel. Dr. Tarek Kamel, pioneer of Internet in Egypt, former minister of ICTs in Egypt in the government of Dr. Nassif and host of IGF 2009 in Sharm El Sheikh and very big supporter and multistakeholder approach towards Internet Governance from up front. So Dr. Kamel.
>> TAREK KAMEL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, for your introduction. Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, and glad to be participating in this panel, distinguished panel, about the study that has been conducted by OECD, ISOC and UNESCO.
And let me start by really encouraging the work that has been developed within the study because we have a trilateral team. Every one of them brings its value. The OECD is very well known for analytical, economic studies. ISOC is a very well technical founded organisation and UNESCO is very well known for its support of knowledge development and free flow of information worldwide. So having all three players in one study I think happens for the first time and is really something that we are very glad of.
I will talk about two parts, the first part related to some comments about the study similar to what Vint has said. I have some comments where I agree with the factfinding in the studies but also some comments where I disagree or would like to add in the study in future.
The second part of my comments will focus a little about it more about Egypt, similar to our friend from Kenya has done enlightening what's going on in Egypt, what is going on with content development in the last couple years and where we still lack support.
First of all, I definitely agree that connectivity has been an issue. As it has been mentioned by our friend from Kenya in the 1990s, now we have a knowledge gap, and generational divide. I think this is by far more comprehensive and more difficult to face than we did as a community face together the challenge of the '90s, connecting Africa and connecting the developing countries and connecting the world.
We need together, in a multi‑state format by ISOC, by the NGO, by the stakeholders succeeded in doing that. Definitely technology has helped us. The evolution of mobile technology played an excellent role in that. And similar to what Vint has said, I second what he said, is that the penetration in Africa will be definitely around 15 percent and not 6 percent due to the evolution of mobile.
This means that the homework has been partially done concerning the connectivity, but we still have a big challenge to face concerning the knowledge and the knowledge gap.
The second point that I want to agree upon in this study is the definition of local content. And I see wonderful UNESCO really the local content because it's very difficult to define content. Is it the content that's comprehensible to users? Is it the content that's relevant to users? Or in the local language? Or is it the content for people in a certain geographic proximity?
If we take it from a language point of view, just to give you an overview of the Arab world, you have 350 million Arab‑speaking population worldwide, but maybe only 70 percent live within the Arab region and 30 percent live outside. Is this local community or is this not counted as local community? Is this local content or isn't this local content? And I would agree with the study that this is defined as a local content because I saw that we have been able to integrate 30 percent of this Arab‑speaking population that are living in the U.S. and Europe and outside within our digital communities and our digital societies.
So I see this really as a plus. And we need to work on it.
And I also see that it helps diversity that is being part of the main themes of this conference. And the access to knowledge really because the definition of access is changing. It's not anymore access. It's just basic connectivity. It's access to knowledge and access to information. And the third point to agree upon in this study is composition is changing of local content. It used to be only in English. Now we see a change. French is coming on strongly, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and many other African language as well happening more and more. The overall growth is mentioned in the study, 40 percent. But the growth rate, the big growth rate does not come from the English language but from the other languages. Some of them are up to 60 percent and 70 percent and 80 percent, and definitely Google can second that.
I liked also in the study the analysis that has been done about pricing and technology evolution, how the devices are getting more and more affordable from a price point of view and more and more capable from a technology point of view from storage capabilities and from access capabilities. And this definitely helps the whole thing.
The last point that I agree with is the infrastructure analysis that has been done. I like that for the first time at least, I see it in the first study, autonomous system and users and IP addresses are being involved in a study. This is really a big plus. Because autonomous systems, at the end of the day, represent organizations that have their own networks, manage their own networks and are connected to the rest of the Internet and IP addresses represent individual users that are comprehensive that are more or less skilled users and that do have skills to connect to the Internet. Both are not only a technical issue but an economic issue, as well, because they reflect definitely growth in the GDP and I like in this study that this is related to GDP growth and has been linked to GDP growth.
I definitely also support that the local content and Internet infrastructure are the foundation for sustainable economic ecosystem of the 21st Century. And we should be really continue to analyze the relation between local content and Internet infrastructure, because as I said they are the foundation for a well‑developed economic ecosystem worldwide.
But, as well, I disagree with the following points. It has been mentioned was the autonomous systems, that they completely reflect the number of organizations connected into a country. This is not always the case. For example, in Egypt, we have 60 autonomous systems, but by far larger number of organizations connected to the Internet. Why? Because many big organizations still use the autonomous systems of their respective ISPs because it is easier for them and most forward. Maybe this is not in the government. This is not in the academia, but this is definitely in the business community.
I also have a comment about that I disagree about the areas related to the pricing. When it comes to pricing as it has been mentioned, I still see an international issue that we haven't given as a global community enough attention. The international connectivity is still the bigger proportion of the pricing of the Internet access. The local part is quite limited when it comes to be compared with the international connectivity. And my problem has been and is still the case that in connecting the developing countries, they carry the bigger portion of the international connectivity. They pay for the submarine cables that connect them to the U.S. backbone or to the European backbones. And this is why, because most of the content is approved. And well‑developed backbones are abroad and they all want to get hooked there. But traffic is in both directions. It imports content to the developing countries and exports content out of the developing countries. But the local, but the international coast is being primarily carried still by the developing countries to a great extent, and we need to handle that as an international community. Definitely local Internet exchange points help and reduce the prices, but it continues to be an issue.
I also would like to mention that still most of the traffic in the developing world is still international. In Egypt, for example, although we have local Internet exchanges, about 85 to 90 percent of the traffic still goes international. This means that we are still limited in our local access compared to the international access. And as it has been mentioned, Egypt has been one of the first countries that were connected to the Internet in the early '90s. And although we have local top‑level domains and images of root server top level domains for the DNS resolution, but most of the traffic is still international have and I think we need to give attention to that more and more in the study.
Another point that it hasn't been mentioned in the study thoroughly is line sharing in developing countries. Line sharing in developing countries is happening more and more often due to the affordability issue. And it impacts definitely the latency. It impacts the response time. But it happens more and more. And we need to come up with new business models, maybe either to absorb that or to avoid that. But it cannot be left like that in a gray market that is doing more and more of the line sharing. This problem does not exist in Europe, I know. Does not exist in the developed world. But it exists in the developing countries. And it will continue to be a barrier for local content development more and more.
I second what vint Cerf has said about the ccTLDs they are very misleading. I will give an example in Egypt. We have 4,000 entries under the ccTLDs.CG domain. This is a very limited number, probably to be estimated to 2 to 3 percent of the overall registrations and entries that are being done under dot com dot org worldwide. I don't want to go into the details that is happening because of the time it takes registration and the money, the barriers and things like that, but this is a fact. So if we link local content to entries under ccTLDs I think it will be misleading.
But I also agree with what the Chairman Janis has said. We need to continue to measure the growth because this is an indication. But not to take it just as a number for itself, absolute number for itself, reflecting the situation of the local content.
Egypt, we were working within the last couple of years on fostering local content more and more. The government has gone aggressively through an intergovernment programme to promote local content by public information.
We have developed our own portals, put out information about government services almost for free and also the local service provider to promote the local content more and more. Egypt has Cult Net that is taking care of preserving, really, the heritage of Egypt, the ecological heritage of Egypt and putting it online and making it available in cooperation with the business community, IBM and others. We have definitely many manuscripts that are being put online. And we think that this is definitely helping the overall demand.
Our challenges are clear. Still the affordability of PCs is a challenge. And I think this needs to be added to the study. Smartphone helped part of the removing the barrier to access to information. But their prices are still high. And they are only providing the access on a limited basis due to spectrum availability and due to high prices. And as Vint has mentioned, they provide the access only based on time and local demand where I am.
We have a challenge, as well, on the language issue. 60 percent of the population have access to TVs. Why? Because the language is in Arabic. And almost the penetration of mobile now is approaching 100 percent as well in Egypt we exceeded 75 million mobile operators. Why? People got the money out of their pocket, again because there is no language barrier in voice communication. But when it came to the Internet, it's only 25 percent. Why this? Because of the language barrier. Data has language barrier. And, still, we need to be working on that more and more.
Our hope is that video will do the boost because, again, it does not have the language barrier similar to voice. But it will take some time until this happens, really, in the developing world on a wider scale.
We still have further challenges on capacity building in the developing world. And in Egypt, we have many young people, 60 percent of our population is under the age of 30. They want to be educated. They want skills. They want analytical skills and access to knowledge. And Egypt is not an exception for that in Africa. It exists similarly in Africa. And I think if we add this point to the study, as well, it will enrich the local content development that is based on users and on analytical skills.
My last point is access to social networks. Access to social networks has led in Egypt to political reform via the young people within the last couple of months. But we need to be looking at how can we really utilize social networks and access to social networks in the developing world to foster local content, for social reform and for creating jobs and for economic reform.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me this opportunity to make the comment. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So, thank you, Tarek. And in a sense you, through your intervention, you proved one of the points of the study, or assumptions of the study, or confirm one of the assumptions of the study, that international traffic is always more expensive than local traffic.
So it leads us to the Q & A session for comments. And I recognize Patricia for a question. But I would like to ask one thing to Tarek.
You mentioned David said first that a lot of local content in developing world is kept on the infrastructure and on servers outside the countries. And you also said that most of Egyptian content still goes through international. What is the reasons? And how that can be fixed? Because then the whole traffic would become much more cheaper. And the fact that there isn't an exchange point in Egypt, not one, I think even several, still traffic goes outside. How can we fix this issue?
>> TAREK KAMEL: I mention that had in the content of ccTLDs, actually. And this is what I want to enlighten. A good part of the content is hosted locally. But not under the .EG domain but under the dot com domain. The DNS resolution happens abroad but the local content is there locally.
But, still, we still have a challenge with our ISPs on a sustainable business model to continue to be competitive in hosting content. Because with whom are we competing? With giants. And think about cloud computing and what cloud computing will also add. And then will have all the bigger challenge to sustain our local when it comes to hosting local content.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Again. Thank you. Patricia.
>> Patricia: Thank you very much. I appreciate that you're taking this effort because it's a very important area. I have a few observations maybe that might be helpful.
The use of mobile devices with enhanced capabilities often referred to as smartphones has been taken off spectacularly in recent years. And in this context, instead of a focus, as you have, on web and, say, in the measure of the Wikipedia, you might want to look at the vast development of what they call apps. And we've been involved in healthcare apps. It's an entrepreneurial environment. And in that context, the Web you could consider is just another app, albeit an important one, but just another app.
Now why am mentioning this? Because if you address app creation, especially to address local needs, identifiable local needs. And usually the young people that are doing the apps, they want to sell them. 99 cents or whatever they put for their app. Is that you would have to broaden what you consider content. And my suggestion would be you broaden it to include software as an essential element. Because you really ‑‑ when you come down to it, we're talking about information expressed in digital forms. Computer knows about zeros and 1's. And the management of that information in that form is absorbing a huge amount of time right now to improve how you access this, how you manage it, how you perform operations in a very dynamic way.
I also have my favorite quote, Vint, and it's Allen Newell from Carnegie Mellon. He became very interested in copyright and patents several years ago, he's passed away, rest his soul, and he lectured me once that there is no distinction in practice between a computer programme and what is data; but that what really matters is the assembled symbolic logic.
So now that assembled symbolic logic that's representing perhaps what you're viewing as English or Swahili or what, in order to create that before it's represented in a digital form, you have to have other kinds of languages. And from a UNESCO perspective, fostering education, say in Java and python, because one of my things is reviewing code, and before the Code goes out, you have to look to see what it is, where it came from and what you're trying to accomplish.
Sometimes people are good at writing code and they don't have the idea about what it is that they want to do. And somebody comes up with a nifty idea, doesn't know how to do code. Sometimes you have to have a team effort.
So I just suggest that that's a whole burgeoning area that you might want to think about.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Yes, thank you, Tarek, please?
>> TAREK KAMEL: I've got some very good news for you. So the OECD has an ongoing project on digital content. And our next project between January and June is on apps. So exactly this. We're looking at ‑‑ we're doing one right now on e‑books. And our next move is on apps, because we do see these as extremely important.
I do have to say we have to thank Google for a lot of the data that we used for this. We've used a lot of Google data.
I was looking to see if I could find one of the pieces from the report. Google's applied actually YouTube as part of Google, gave us some fascinating data we cite in the report where they looked at the amount of content.
So if you upload a video to YouTube, that video is counted in the country where you uploaded it. So they're able to tell you "this video was uploaded from, for example, France."
And then what they can do is they can say: Of the views of that content, how many of those are domestic and how many of those are international. So they provided us data from Europe. And what I was surprised to find is that in most countries in Europe, roughly 50 percent or more of the videos that are viewed are viewed outside of the country where they're uploaded, which is quite interesting.
So for these studies on apps, for new indicators, like some of the criticisms of the report were about the data, ccTLDs. We completely agree and we're looking for new data that we can use to measure local content. That's why we look to partners like Google. We're going to ask you about android app, country of origin for android apps.
>> Patricia: But what about the notion of ‑‑ my bar association got into this, too. Because when you're looking at content, content is also what you might call software. Might you be looking at that, as well?
>> TAREK KAMEL: If we can find a way to measure it, absolutely.
>> Patricia: If you're looking at content, you have to look at how it's represented.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Okay, thank you. Let us move to the next question. I have three requests from the floor. We'll start with the gentleman on the second row. Then Andrew, then Baher. But please come somewhere you have a microphone. Introduce yourself at the beginning.
>> My name is Jimson Alufia. I'm the Vice Chairman for WIFSA which is the World Information ‑‑ Alliance. I'm responsible for evangelizing ICT in Africa. I'm sorry for coming late. I didn't get the full details of the briefing regarding statistics, but the point I came in, I had about the penetration being about 6.21 percent. And this also came between about 10, 15 and 20 percent.
I have a data link which refers to the work done by www consultium, ITU and Neilsen Company. And I am thinking perhaps maybe this .1 figure is about penetration where you look at the world in total. The figure we have is about 11.5 percent for Africa, that is penetration within Africa. And with regard to the world is about 5.6 percent. That is the penetration in Africa vis‑a‑vis the whole world, Africa is about 5.6 percent. And with regard to Africa, 11.5 percent.
So by this time around, perhaps Africa will go more like 50 percent.
And lastly, since I came late, is it possible to get that presentation? Is there any way I can have access to it? Thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Okay, thank you. Actually this is one of the questions which I am now writing to pass the message to Taylor, when we will have it. It was planned that we would have it already for today. There was some technical problems in printing flier for this study. But well rectify that very quickly.
>> TAYLOR REYNOLDS: It's going on the Internet in the next 10 minutes.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So in the next 10 minutes you'll get a flier.
>> TAYLOR REYNOLDS: I'll put up a link.
>> JANIS KARLINS: On the side in 10 minutes you will get a four‑pager of this one.
So then the next will be the publication of the full study. And most probably that will take a couple of months from now simply to get all necessary clearances, since this will be published by three organizations, OECD, ISOC and UNESCO and there is some procedure in place.
So, Andrew mark, please.
>> Thank you very much. One of the big things when we talk about local content, one of the big things that we're oftentimes talking about is not the Internet as it is today, but the Internet as it will be five years from now. And if you look at the top 10 languages on the Web, five of them aren't written in Latin script, right? There are also many communities that have a dual or multiscript identity, right? Look at India. Look at North Africa which uses Latin and French and Arabic script. And for many people, that's an identity that shouldn't be separated; that you use both scripts, you work in both scripts, you live in both scripts. And so one of the things that I think is going to be crucial for us is to try to find ways to promote the non‑Latinization, or the broadening of the Web from its roots in English, frankly, because that's really what it means to get more things online.
You look at the question of Pakistan, a great deal of the government of Pakistan's web presence is in English. 10 percent of the people in Pakistan speak English, 90 percent Urdu, right? So the other thing about it is to look at the whole issue of underserved scripts on the Web.
And it's an issue that I've done a lot of work through recently at the joint support group at ICANN. And so there are a significant of small scripts on the Web: Armenian, Lao. Which one of the big concerns is that ‑‑ without a little bit of support, they'll never get built out at all. And then you have what is effectively a choice: Do you have local content and the preservation of local culture and the ability to do business in your own local language? Or do you have to give that up in order to become a global net citizen? And I think that's a big issue, trying to find good ways to promote the diffusion outside of just English and outside of just Latin scripts is really crucial.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Actually this was one of the underlying ideas of the study to find an ammunition to find in favor of local content production in different languages. Because you can always argue "you need to do that, you need to do that" but who will pay for it? And it is good to be subsidized. But the underlying idea was to see whether there are economic incentives which could be convincing for governments, for private sector in order to engage, invest in local content production. And that is the point.
>> If I could just finish that thought. One of the things that has been bandying around the Internet Governance community of late is this idea that you would give people an incentive to build out in multiple languages simultaneously. Bundled approach to pricing so in the same way that you mit buy a six‑pack of Coca‑Cola instead of each bottle individually. So that someone might build out in Arabic. So that someone might build out in Lao in Izari or something like that. And that is one of the ways that you could get people that may not be real interested in doing it, but doing it in a sustainable way that doesn't require subsidies.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you. Now Baher is from my country.
>> I am with ICANN. So I have one question and one comment. The question is related to the gentleman from Kenya about the real challenge of having a sustainable business model for creation of content. And that, I agree, is key problem.
And my question is whether this study has looked into that issue, has considered and maybe liberated or looked into what kind of business models would work for the developing countries other than the most popular model of the online advertisements, for instance which might not be successful in developing world.
And if the study has not done that already, if that's something that could happen in future versions of the study.
The comment I have is in relation to ccTLDs, so as many of you know that many countries started to enjoy and to use their country code, top‑level domains in native languages like Arabic, Chinese, et cetera for the past year or so. And currently you have like 30 top‑level domains in different languages representing 20 different countries.
So maybe one of the things the study may consider is in the future since it has looked at content under ccTLDs, you might looked under ID ccTLDs and that might give some indication, as well, thank you.
>> TAYLOR REYNOLDS: Thank you very much. I appreciate all these comments. And they're very important.
On the issue of ccTLDs when we did the economic, we had to take out the DOT TV and FM, they're absolute extreme outliers in the analysis. We took those out because they're not in the regression so they're not in there. There may be others that we didn't catch they're so obviously out there that we took them out of the analysis.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you, Taylor.
What I can say, together with UNESCO this year published their first report on ID and ccTLD uptake and we have agreement with Yuri that we will from now on produce annual well ID uptake. And the volume of content on these ID domains would be one of the issues we would be looking at. So thank you for this suggestion.
So now I will give the floor to you if you can introduce yourself.
>> Karen Rose from the Internet Society. And I just wanted to make a comment regarding the statements that international bandwidth capacity is always the highest part of the link. And I think that's a little bit overly general and I think is being overtaken by a lot of events, especially concerning satellite, I'm sorry, undersea fiber capacity.
So, for example, particularly in Africa, the cost per megabit of traffic several years ago could be 1,000 to $3,000 per meg. Especially predominantly on satellite. And now with undersea fiber cables, that's down as low as $100 per meg.
So what's happening is that you're really seeing like currently the capacity, buying capacity from Cape Town to Johannesburg in South Africa or from Darussalam to Arussia in Tanzania is actually more expensive than buying capacity from either Darussalam or Cape Town all the way to London. So those domestic links are multiples more expensive than the international capacity.
Further in some instances in ISPs we worked with, that for an ISP to get to an IXP in their country, the cost of securing that cost for the IXP for the ISP actually more costly than the money they would spend at the IXP in connecting. I think there's an ecosystem that's complicated. Cross border is a big issue in Africa. And I think that's really important as we think about creating local content ecosystems and the delivery of local content, there's a tremendous amount of potential.
Cairo and Egypt is the Hollywood to the Arab world. And Nigeria I think is only second to Bollywood in the proliferation in the amount of content that they have. So there's a lot of content out there that's waiting to be digitized. And I think this is an indication that there are a lot of people in countries with skills that can be transferable to the online world. So I think we have to look at the content delivery ecosystem, the costs associated with that, digitizing and getting online the content that's already in place in these countries as well as harnessing the skills that are already in these regions to provide more local content online.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you, Karen. Tarek?
>> TAREK KAMEL: Just a comment. I agree with you in saying that the charges for international connectivity went down within the last five years drastically if you compare it with the previous satellite channels now with the fiber. This was due to competition. Because as it has been mentioned in Kenya, for example, now we have three landing points and three landing cables, submarine cables that are coming from various three players. In Egypt, similar. The flag, is CME and the local cables provide local competition.
And we need on a local level to continue to foster ‑‑ and foster more competition in order to bring the prices more and more down or policies from the government to subsidize the local support because it fosters content. But, still, the point remains. And this is where I disagree that the international proportion is being carried by the developing countries. Although it is coming now lower, but it is primarily carried by the developing countries.
If Kenya wants to connect via the submarine cable to the UK to a landing point or an Internet exchange points in the UK, probably the Kenyan ISPs pay for most of the cost of the link.
In the classic communication services in the past, it was bidirectional. It was carried by both players. But now one single player is carrying it, although it is being utilized in both directions. You send me an email, I send you an email. But I pay for your email that you send to me as well for the international proportion part. And this needs some analysis.
>> I'd love to talk with you further offline. Thank you so much.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Certainly as I said at the beginning, we made some assumptions as a starting point. Of course, this might be that local traffic is more expensive than international; but as Tarek said, there might be also registry issues, there might be infrastructure issues. But in theory and in general. As I said again, we thought that the study would give us a lot of arguments in favor of local content creation.
So maybe I will take one more question from Stephan us and then I will give to all who want to say something from panelists. Stefano.
>> Very quick observation and question. I was really intrigued by the definition of local content. And I have to make this observation. 20 years ago, I started a UNESCO project region informatics network in Africa. And I remember at the time that I had an evaluation that 90 percent of the content on Africa was residing in Europe, in everywhere in the world. And only 10 percent ‑‑ and at the time the connection that we established were with the modems 2400 bits per second, not useful for any transmissional content.
Now you have the chance to do something very completely different. And in my opinion, the effort to produce, let's say, a new local content that is useful for economics, that is useful for societal cohesion and things like that.
And then of course all this 90 percent of the content that was residing in other continents, that may also be retrieved and translated into other local languages as we were saying.
I think that this is a possibility of doing something very new. And the effort to produce new local content is essential. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So thank you, Stefano. Now, I will turn to Muriuki for comment?
>> MURIUKI MUREITHI: Thank you very much. I would like to refer to the comment from the gentleman from ICANN about the issue of a business model. And that's specifically whether it is in the works. I'm actually a substitute so I came in the last minute so I'm not quite sure what was the report. But I was given the experience of Kenya in Africa, in the development of content.
I want to relate that I've been involved in a number of studies. One of them we did with Africa ISP association and they were as concerned with what that gentleman has said, all this content on Africa is based out of Africa. How can we bring it back? What will be the model to bring it back? And so there's a good study which perhaps I can share with you which I was responsible for driving.
We have also worked with IDRC, International Development Research Center, USID, our own government here in Kenya. And some of the things we did was a needs analysis. So we really got the rural village and really defined what content do these people want? And after going around, one of the things that came out is the need, basic economic information. They need to know where they can sell their stuff, where they can buy them. They need such information. They also need interaction, to know what is happening around in my neighborhood. They also need issues, information about the government and governance, where they will get licenses, authorization, birth certificates, so forth. They also need opportunity, opportunity in terms of jobs, so forth. But also they need entertainment.
Now, some of the areas are ‑‑ themselves to very good models, for example, in areas of entertainment, but there are others that needs a kick by another agency for them to be developed.
And so every time we look at it, how can we have a mechanism to generate this content that is of interest to this local community?
We came up with a number of models, but those models obviously require an agent to be in between. So many of them are driven by the civil society, but one of the things we are fighting is that at the end of the day, somebody must pay. At the end of the day, somebody must contribute to this process. And so that's why we're trying to create that link. Business model as sustainable. Somebody pays. Somebody gets the value. And it flows.
And so this is the issue that I hope that this study we're looking at perhaps our case in Africa to try to address some framework that's sustainable and to correlate that information for use buy the community. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you. Somebody is coming from the remote? No?
>> Sorry. There are no remote. But also for me, I have a question before all the panelists to feedback.
You know that I'm thinking about the future of the Africa's local continent, as the whole Internet is carried away buy the cloud computing which means everybody is storing content which is stored away buy far away by Google by Facebook. What do you think about the cloud computing positively or negatively in longer term on the local content production in Africa and developing world?
And also I would like to know about the African government's attitude, what do you think is the future? What do you think not only to use the cloud computing outside, but also think of the national capacity building of the data center, data server to storage, create your data locally store and preserve?
I also consider very important issue in your strategy.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you. I think this is a theme for the next workshop.
Cloud computing. Yeah, you're right. We will give now possibility for the concluding remarks for all speakers here.
So let me start with Dawit?
>> DAWIT BEKELE: Thank you. I'd like to comment on some of the questions and comments that have been given from the floor. First maybe on what the importance of enabling non‑Latin scripts. I think that was a major problem a few years back. And thanks to a lot of organizations and especially UNESCO that has supported the development of encoding of non‑Latin scripts and the development of unicode, this problem is becoming less and less important. And I think we should not concentrate on that. I don't think that that is where we should focalize. It is really developing the content itself and encoding it that is currently a big problem. So that is something that I would like to say.
Hosting outside Africa? There are various reasons. If I take some countries like mine, for example, the issue of lack of infrastructure is probably what comes to mind. If you don't have reliable electricity, it's very difficult to host in a country where the server might be down 50 percent of the time. So you prefer to host it somewhere where you can rely on power.
Redundancy of connectivity. There are some countries where if one fiber is cut, then you don't have Internet for the whole week. And you don't want to host in such a place.
So there are many reasons why people prefer to host outside. And one of the reasons is because maybe it is faster to host it outside even for the local people. If there is no IXP in that country, then someone from another who is using another ISP will have to go outside, anyway, to access content. So in fact it's easier to host it outside where it is better bandwidth.
So there are quite a number of issues. And I believe that government should really think seriously, because currently Africans, especially are paying a lot of money to look at their own content outside their country.
Now with regard to the price of Internet, I have to say that I agree with both of you, Tarek and Karen. Yes, the international connectivity, the price of international connection is going down; but local governments are not doing enough to increase competition. And their price of local connections are not going down enough. And I think that should be a concern of our politicians. And I hope that ministers who are gathering at this meeting are taking this issue. I mean not this one, but the ministerial are taking this very seriously.
And another point is that in fact Africans are not doing enough to ‑‑ pure African ISPs to pier enough themselves. It's true that when they're peering in London, when they're connecting in London, they're using transit and paying for the transit. But there are things that they can do. Internet Society is having an annual Forum on interconnection in order to increase more and more peering within Africa. And this way we are becoming big mass of interconnected people that big ISPs around the world will really consider seriously and will peer freely rather than using transit. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So, thank you, Dawit. Vint?
>> VINT CERT: Let me be very brief. First of all with regard to technologies like cloud computing, they're simply driven by economics. So the economics of scale in a cloud‑based system for us, anyway, is the only way to achieve the capacities that we're able to put on the table.
I think that that's a trend over time. And that the same kinds of technologies will become useful and accessible in country.
One thing I would suggest along the lines of the peering comment is aggregation of capability by a number of different parties might be useful. For example, if a number of different ISPs, other institutions and maybe even countries decided to fund the development of data centers or even a data center so that it's regionally available might make economic sense. It's still the point about reliability is critical. But I can see a confluence of interests joining together to achieve the economy of scale and pricing that you wouldn't be able to get if everyone had to build their own facility. So let me leave it at that and say that there's lots of work for the next meeting coming up.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you, Vint for your final comments. Tarek, now your turn.
>> TAREK KAMEL: I will also be brief but I will get back to the point of the younger people and the younger generations in the developing world. Egypt is not an exception saying that 60 percent of our population is under the age of 30. And this is really the fuel of our future. And this is really the demand the market. And we have two options when it comes to look at content and young people. Either we let them to become global net citizens with all the advantages but the disadvantages of having identity loss, or we help them really to foster development of local content.
I like what Patricia has mentioned concerning entrepreneurs and the development of apps. We need to maybe think about competition for these people, awards for these people, providing them with incentives in order to develop local content and distribute it. The same way they did it successfully in other things. This will create jobs and will create value and will link them to the local communities, as well, and will preserve their cultural and their languages. Maybe that's something for the UNESCO to think about. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So, thank you, Tarek. And now I will turn to Taylor?
>> TAYLOR REYNOLDS: Thank you very much. I just want to quickly call your attention to the websites up here.
I want you to think in terms of our ccTLDs, we're giving some extra point to Kinshasa here, but we're using our ccTLD outside for shortening our OCD links. Our main findings and conclusions are local content. There's a lot of information in there.
I think the final thing I just want to say is we were very happy with this research is that it shed light on poor issue.
And that is that policymakers can ‑‑ you can't think about content development without thinking about access prices. So I think the main take‑away for the OECD group is that we need to start focusing on having policymakers in different areas speak to each other because the Internet connects us all and is a wonderful platform. So thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: So thank you. And I would like to now put on record UNESCO's gratitude to OECD and ISOC for collaboration in the framework of this project. This was exemplary. So we're looking forward to concluding and printing or publishing this study.
So thank you to all speakers for being present and sharing your views about study and experiences in the region. Thank you, all participants, who took time to listen to us. So looking forward to further engagement. Thank you very much.
(end of session)