>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Good morning, everyone. It's 9:00. Let's get prepared to start. Those sitting in the audience, bear in mind, this is a roundtable. So I encourage you to join the roundtable, please, if you're staying. Thank you very much. Kind, sir, will you join us at the roundtable? We want to encourage the roundtable format so please join us at the roundtable. The chairs in the back are for those who probably don't want to speak, more observers.
Those coming in, please join us. Thank you. My name is Tracy Hackshaw. Welcome to our Fourth Small Island Developing States Roundtable. We started this in 2011, I believe, and we actually began the roundtable format in 2012. This is our fourth version of it. For those who are not familiar with the roundtable format, we won't do stand‑up‑type presentations. We won't have very long discussion points. The idea is that I'll pose some questions in sort of a talk show‑type format and that would invite people to respond. And I will invite the roundtable to respond to those who responded. So it will be a free‑flowing discussion and I'm hoping that everybody has a chance to speak. Please do. I'm hoping the discussion is very vibrant and just setting the stage, we are discussing the Free Internet. We are not discussing specific issues that may come up on that. We are discussing the Free Internet. However, if you wish to raise other issues, feel free. So thank you very much.
So, I did circulate some questions to our lead discussants. It's actually on the work shop description. So the first question would be really something ‑‑ I'm not going to introductions because I think the way to do this is when someone speaks they can introduce themselves. We'll save time that way. The first question is basically, who pays for the Internet? I'm trying to understand and I'm hoping that maybe someone can answer that.
The Internet is this thing we hear about. It's this Cloud or this thing. There is Internet infrastructure. There is Internet architecture. There is technical stuff. There is all sorts of things. The question is, who actually pays for this? And I'd like to invite our lead discuss opportunities start. Perhaps ‑‑ I did want to ask pepper, who is coming to the Panel, but unfortunately he has fallen ill this morning so he will not be able to make it, or he will try; but not to start. Perhaps I could ask our TCB to give us thoughts on who pays for the Internet.
>> VINT CERF: So the first observation I would make is, there are quite a few different business models that drive parts of the Internet. So, each of the operators of a network may have a very different business model. Some of them are not for profits. Some of them are governments. Some of them are government funded. Some of them are for‑profit Private Sector entities. Some are public companies. It's not the case that everyone who gets access to the Internet necessarily pays for it out‑of‑pocket. Some do. On the other hand, there are business models like the one that Google, where there is an advertising component that picks up the cost of almost all the services that are offered.
So, I think it is very important not to get trapped into thinking that there is only one model for the way in which the costs of recovered. And I think that might be an important part of our discussion, to recognize the variations.
In the Small Island environment, it becomes even more complicated because the island groups of disbursed and in some cases, there are many different islands that are part of the chain and figuring out how to build infrastructure that will allow all of the participants on the various islands to get access to the Internet is a nontrivial question. How much local connectivity can be provided?
Is there inter‑island capabuilt that is possible without necessarily the use of satellite? We had a good demonstration last night of the O3B Satellite System. But it's not inexpensive. The ground station that was demonstrated is for ship board use, which is really impressive when you consider that ships are not necessarily stable. So these are gyro‑stabilized antennas tracking the satellites as they fly overhead. That ground station was delivering 400 megabits a second downstream and 100 megabits a second upstream. But the cost of the ground station is 250,000 dollars.
I asked, what happens if you have a fixed installation? They said it's less expensive because you don't have all the gyro-stabilizing equipment and the data rates get up to a giga bit per second. This is a spot‑beam based system. The reason I won't go into this detail is to say that there are a variety of choices that are available for linking places into the Internet environment. And I'm hoping in this discussion, the people who are most familiar with the island environments can help us understand what those challenges are and what options already are known for interconnection among the island groups and of the groups into the rest of the Internet. Let me stop there and invite further elucidation by the rest of the people in the roundtable.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you Vince. I see we have a colleague. Perhaps introduce yourself when you speak.
>> BOB FRANKS: Bob Franks, Online Forever. I would re‑frame the question. So in the United States, we have Route 1. And what is Route 1? It's just some signs tacked up and these days you don't even need the signs, you just use an App to create your own routes. So who pays for the routes? The answer is, you don't pay for the routes. People pay for the roads and you make a route out of the roads. So if you're the Internet as the way we use the physical infrastructure and the question is then, how do you pay for the common infrastructure you use? And where the transition phase with roads, a century ago when people ‑‑ business paid for toll roads and nobody knew why you needed roads. They were not for profit. And somehow we had creeky intercity harbor system. By the time we had the automobile people understood the value and people just paid for roads as infrastructure. And the real case for the islands is, is there an understanding of the value to the community as a whole for them to just pay for the infrastructure? But it's $250,000 for a bay station, over 100,000 people, for example, it’s not that much. But the real question is, do you have an understanding of the value as a whole to pay for it together?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Very interesting points. Does anybody want to take that up? Carlton Samuels?
>> CARLTON SAMUELS: I'm going to speak specifically about the challenges of Island States and connectivity. We have two challenges. So let's talk about the one off island. Most of the off‑island connectivity is by submarine fiber systems. And in the Caribbean we have a circuit of fiber systems across the Caribbean. The problem is the landing stations, they don't land very often in very many places. Jamaica is a probably one of the better served because we have about five fiber landing stations in‑country. Because of that, it reduced the wholesale cost of the bandwidth tremendously. So that is one. And the other Caribbean Islands that is not the case. It is a continuing for off‑island connectivity and the price is correspondingly higher.
Then there is internal systems. We have or we are coming out of situations where it used to be mostly copper connectivity. And that is going out now and we are putting in fiber systems in‑country. There is still though, most of them by commercial providers. And of course, they go where they expect to retrieve the costs and make some money is we have the divide of ‑‑ a real divide. At the edges, in the small rural communities, there is no connectivity. Or the connect activity is there but it's still old dial/copper and it is very slow. That's part of the problem we have in most of the island countries.
There have been several initiatives to improve the infrastructure and connectivity, in countries, the universal service funds have been part of it. They have been building networks on supporting the building of networks for universal service obligations. Part of the problem is that universal obligations in most countries now evolve only to voice. And therefore the broadband availability and the things you need to do real important work with Internet connectivity, is still lacking. The policy framework needs to respond to that. And that is something that we can do.
So, I think also to connect the edges, those that are not connected now, we have to seriously think about community‑type networks and how we get those involved, and the mix of ‑‑ but Vint is quite right. We are actually trying to replicate a variety of ownership for the infrastructure that works so well in metropolitan countries. That is what we are trying to actually emulate in the aisled countries. We are not there yet. We are still away, but there is some light in the channel. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I see three people wanting to respond and I saw Bob wants to respond afterwards. I don't know if Vint would like to have the floor after that. So let's go with Neils.
>> NEILS TEN OEVER: Hello, I'm Neils ten Oever. We know there is a Free Internet but there is a Free Internet as in freedom and there is also an Internet that is free, as in free beer. But we also know there is no such thing as a free lunch and there is also not such a thing as a free beer in that sense. So, that Free Internet, as in free beer, is a beach of Net Neutrality and nondiscrimination. And doesn't allow for content agnosticism or the end‑to‑end principle as the invent of the Internet originally envisioned it. So it is actually a breach of the architectural principles with which we build the Internet.
So if we want to connect the Small Island states, we should not come with a half Internet because we wouldn't allow that with health care either, right? We would need the full Internet. And of course we would need to think of models of doing that but we do not need to necessarily copy the approaches that we have done in other parts of the world. We need custom‑made solutions and we can innovate because innovation happens at the edges. So why don't we look deeper into things like, opening the spectrum for making less‑mile connections and being able to work on that, which would also allow for a more decentralized network and bringing it from node-to-node; and then really bringing that experience from the islands back to the rest of the world. Because I really think the next jump can be made there.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you, Neils. Rhea.
>> RHEA YAW CHING: Good morning. Covela Foundation. One of the ‑‑ the history of the Internet in the Caribbean or broadband in the Caribbean when it comes to infrastructure is a fairly short one. And a good story because it is an extremely fiber‑rich area now, one of the highest and most dense in the world, actually.
That is actually on the backs of commercial enterprises, consolidation of commercial enterprises, making a commercial decision to invest in Caribbean network connectivity with an expectation of return.
And therefore, to content point, the number of landing and landing sites and the so on, is on the basis of where the mother is. And so it is in a sense a kind of a catch‑22 situation where or chicken and egg, rather, where you need to have a vibrant or most local Digital Economy to be able to ensure you have proper routing systems and redundancy to the country, or commercial enterprise needs to have a foresight to be able to see to be the vibrancy of that economy and invest in it.
And I think one of the things that has challenged us in the region in particular when it comes that, is while commercial interests have started the infrastructure development in the region, that in fact should not be the model terrestrially as we try to derive the economic or and social benefit of the Digital Economy in each country. That needs to be a variety of different kinds of players, sector players. And I don't think that we are quite there yet in terms of being able to consolidate the types of interests into the formulation of new models to experiment in the various countries.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Deidre?
>> DEIDRE WILLIAMS: Good morning, everybody. My name is Deidre Williams and I come from a Small Island developing state, St. Lucia, in the Caribbean. I'd like to revert to Tracy's original question which is, who pays for the Internet? I'm afraid I'm going to disagree with Dr. Cerf because I say that everybody pays. We all pay. We do not necessarily pay in money, but if we do not pay in money, we pay in information. And one of the things that concerns me very much about this IGF is that many of the next billion that we are so busily connecting, do not understand that it is their information, their data,that is being looked for.
I would be happy if there were a way of including those next billion to find out what do they really want? Do they really want to be connected? Has anybody bothered to ask them?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So I know that both Bob and Vint want to respond to the interventions ‑‑
Do you have a quick intervention Dhanaraj?
>> DHANARAJ THAKUR: My name is Dhanaraj Thakur. I'm from the Caribbean and I want to bring up an example outside of the Caribbean from another Small Island Developing State. Since we were talking about connectivity, infrastructure issues and options, there is interest and examples from Principe, where they had recently in 2014, gained access to the ACE cable that runs around West Africa done through a public‑private partnership what is interesting there is that the agreement between the government and ‑‑ was done such that the access to the cable was done in open‑access basis, which sufficiently created and attracted, so a second operator could there enter. What has since happened is there is a significant reduction in wholesale prices and retail prices as well. So, the best practices we are aware of, open access principles and so on, are very readily when we are talking about fiber infrastructure. I thought it was an interesting example from another kind of Small Island of open state.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I'll close off the topic with two responses from Bob and Vince.
>> BOB FRANKS: The challenge I have is, we are not speaking the same language when we use the word the Internet. And that is the real problem here. And I talk about connecting the next trillion devices as physical, and people communicate using devices. And this is why I say, a metaphor is about railroads, water pipes, electricity, and those aren't the appropriate metaphors. Roads and sidewalks are much better metaphor and that is why I was interested in the history of how we learned to pay for those as common infrastructure. The question is not whether it is free or not. The question is, is it paid in a way that gets in a way. Sidewalks are not free. We pay for them as a community but they’re free to use because you don't have to justify each walk at a monetary level. Right now, we can do connected high‑cost telemedicine but we can't connect a simple heart monitor. So, this is the real issue is to get an understanding of the Internet as basic infrastructure aside from the social Internet. And I'm going to get more of a chance to talk about it tomorrow and try to explain it. But until we have the same language, it can be hard to have a conversation.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Vince I'll give you the last on this one. Who really pays for the Internet?
>> VINT CERF: There are some serious misunderstandings going around the table as I listen to this.
The first point is that Internet is in architecture. It isn't a business model. It's an architecture. You can build pieces of the Internet and have those pieces paid for in a variety of different ways. When the Internet was first built, in fact the predecessor to the Internet was built, it was a co‑op. Basically every government agency that had anyone using the ARPANET, paid a fixed fee for the cost of having a packet switch on their premises and that covered the cost of the dedicated, they built it.
There is nothing wrong with a co‑op model and it still works. Other people have a different model. They choose to build the network and risk building it in a place that doesn't have a market that develops. And they do so because they are hoping to make money. But it isn't necessary to make money in order to make the Internet run. It's necessary that its costs be paid for somehow. And as to this claim that people are paying for the Internet with their information, here you and I do disagree.
At least with regard to Google, it is true that the applications that we offer for free are paid for by advertisers who are trying to get people to look at their ads and we charge them for that. But the other infrastructure we build called Google fiber, is a product. And people pay for access through that infrastructure. That's a straight simple straightforward business model. But what I'd like to emphasize more than anything is that you do not need to have all parts of the Internet paid for the same way.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you very much. And I'm not certain if, as Dr. Suess says the issue is understood by everybody, exactly which parts of the Internet are being paid for and come parts do we pay for? Perhaps that is something we need to put on the table for further assessment and exploration, because that, as he indicated, there appears to be some level of disagreement perhaps, or consensus to that issue. That's something I think we may want to see or something we will look at in the future. I'm going to take off from that question now and ask something a little more provocative.
So, there are a lot of these Free Internet initiatives being offered and I'm speaking about the Free Internet in quotation marks here. And these large organizations in the world offering ‑‑ and I don't want to call them the initiatives, but they appear to be inherently philanthropic. At least from many people's position. And it appears to be that they are out to do good and appears to be that they are to simply spread the Internet to people who need access. Now, do these measures or options really provide better to Developing Countries and in particular Small Island states. I want to hear from everybody as to whether or not they think that is important and whether the benefits are there. I see someone hasn't spoken before so perhaps introduce yourself and jump in.
>> Hello. My name is Sharda (sp), I'm a student, Public Policy student from Bangalore. I just wanted to clarify that there are different forms of these offerings and not all of them are philanthropic. In that, there are some business models of the Zero-Rated platforms initiated by serve Telecom service providers in the case of India which a major service provider, Airtel, had an offering Airtel Zero, where they signed deals with content providers to provide access to consumers for free but it was still paid for by content providers.
That is very different from the free basics model that is also considered a Zero-Rating model. I wanted to bring in some conceptual clarity into the different forms of free to consumers Internet, because I do think that there are different business models that are created in this realm.
>> VINT CERF: Imagine some of you have gone to a hotel and discovered in the lobby that you can get access to the Internet and apparently you're not charged for it; although the cost is probably buried somewhere in the cost of the hotel rooms and other services. If you go to a coffee shop, you may get access to the Internet. If you're in other hotels and meeting rooms, they may explicitly charge you for access to the net. There are all these different ways of recovering costs and I don't think we should get trapped in any one of them in our debate. Although we need to understand the implications of the different choices and what fraction of the Internet you get access to in consequence of those various alternatives.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Okay. So the philanthropic issue has come up. Some say it's not all philanthropic. I noticed Bob and Dhanaraj and I see others. Let's start with Bob.
>> BOB FRANKS: I'm not concerned whether it is philanthropic or not. The question for me, is it sustainable and will it grow with usage? So philanthropic model can give people a taste of it, but we have to think about sustainable funding and that is a whole long discussion but that is the test.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Dhanaraj.
>> DHANARAJ THAKUR: The question is about the benefits for Small Island Developing States. And what I would purse that is, I'm not sure we are sure the extent to which these kinds of services are offered in Small Island Developing States. And then following that, what exactly are the kinds of benefits? Are they actually bringing people online who were previously off line? Are they making access more affordable? I mean, honestly I don't think there is enough to very that kind of question specifically to set up countries. The other thing, and I'll throw this in there as well, is that I am sometimes getting worried when we bring in debates or discourse that are really relevant for other regions into our particular area, which ‑‑ so again, I'm not sure how relevant this is for us. I think ‑‑ I'm open to being educated right here and now. But I'm just worried about us bringing in these kind of discussions. So thanks.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Patrick?
>> PATRICK HOSEIN: So, what ‑‑ Patrick Hosein University of West Indies. So we have been discussing this Zero-Rating issue for quite a while now.
How do we provide access to these low‑income users? One way is to have the operators provide some bandwidth for them. Sufficiently it does not affect their pay customers and by having them sample the Internet, they hopefully will then move to paid prescription.
So with the free basics model, the way FACEBOOK does that is by restricting applications themselves so that the through put necessary for the applications is sufficiently small so that these users of this free basic service will not load the network significantly. So that is one approach. But, basically that approach is basically limited user through put indirectly by limiting the applications. So FACEBOOK basically says that the applications that are provided within free basics must conform to certain technical requirements and no video and small images, et cetera. And the whole intent is to reduce the overall through put of these users. So one other approach. That is one approach.
But why not just do it directly? Why not just directly limit the through put of these users and have them access the entire Internet? Now in this way, they will not ‑‑ they will still be able to access the free basics versions of the Apps because they were designed for low throughput. But it also allows anybody to redesign or provide low through put version of the site or application so that anybody ‑‑ any of these low through put users ‑‑ let me just call them LTP users, will be able to access it as well.
So in this way, you allow users open access. The operator uses a small portion of their bandwidth for these free users, and users in fact could f they want to, access more through put intensive applications like video, but of course it would take forever for them to download it. One side effect of this, of course, is the activity factors of these users is sufficiently high to cause increase in average usage of these users. But there are ways to provide caps to reduce this.
The point is that you place the limitations on the users as opposed to limitations on the content. And all of this is technically feasible. LT provides the infrastructure to provide QS. So it also allows you to have limits on throughput through this QS class identifier, et cetera. So in conclusion what I'm trying to say is that, the FACEBOOK approach has the ‑‑ the goal is admirable but the approach itself is flawed and I think we can come up with other approaches that are both network neutral and provides the same goal. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. I wanted to just ‑‑ I know we have somehow drifted into the Zero-Rating. Just to deal with the issue Dhanaraj. That is she in the Caribbean right now as we speak. So that is something we can put aside. But other Free Internet systems, there is TDY spaces. I want to make sure we don't miss the broader topic of the Free Internet. So there are other options that are coming and have already arrived in our parts of the Small Island Developing States that deal with offering Free Internet access. I believe the Philippines has already experienced all the same projects or something of that nature. And so there are things that offer Free Internet as a broad topic as well as the issues that others are raising with Zero-Rating. Let's not lose sight of both sides of the coin there. I want to make sure that we are okay. I'm seeing Ginger and Deidre. Ginger?
>> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you, everyone. I'm here as a outsider.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Could you ‑‑
>> GINGER PAQUE: Ginger Paque from DiploFoundation. I'm in a cross between Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. But I am not an islander. I kind of wish I was. So, my approach, I'm asking my questions from the outside as not an islander and not an expert on Free Internet. So my questions may seem naive but they would help me. One, what is specifically different about Free Internet with the Small Island Developing States? Why is it specifically important to you and all of us then as Internet users?
And second, I'm outside if I know there are very, very many different things that are called Zero-Rating and different things that are called Free Internet. My question might be to Patrick or to the rest of you, is it seems to me that Zero-Rating is one concept that has different models. Free Internet is something very different, which to my mind springs to mind municipal Wi‑Fi. That seems to be Free Internet to me. Whereas another model is free FACEBOOK. Free I don't know. Somebody else. It's not ‑‑ that's not Free Internet. That's free FACEBOOK. I may be mistaken but that is how my mind is categorizing right now so I'd appreciate help.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: So Carlton wants to respond to you but Deidre first.
>> DEIRDRE WILLIAMS: Several speakers earlier said we are not understanding each other. We need to say what we mean when we say free. Are we talking about money or are we talking about openness?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: A good point. Carlton can you assist?
>> CARLTON SAMUELS: Good point Deidre. You heard we had models and we understand that there are several Zero-Rated models. Some of them are intended for take up of applications like the FACEBOOK model. There are others that are intended to have wider access to the old Internet but on a LTE basis to, say the user experience is not the same as if you were paying a full to access. Our problem in the Caribbean is about two things, cConnectivity and access.
Those two are driven by cost. And whatever we can do to reduce the cost of access or reduce the cost to connect in my opinion, is good for all of us.
First, access. The recognition that cost to access is exorbitant have resulted in several strategies to enable access. From the public side, they have provided what is called Public Access Points. Community Access Points. CAPs. And the CAPs are where we put in infrastructure, paid from somebody else, usually in our jurisdiction, by the universal access fund and people, citizens go there and they don't pay to access the Internet. It is a service that is provided by public funds. Here again somebody has to pay because the infrastructure accepts a cost. So that is one.
There are connectivity issues, and those are at the edge. Those that are outside of our towns and our main points, they are challenged to connect to the Internet because of lack of infrastructure to connect. And that is when we have responses like in one area, building community networks. Community networks that are simple, localized, connections using Wi‑Fi technologies with interconnection rights to the backbone. That happens.
Here again, there is a cost to provision the network. And those costs are sometimes commoditized. That is to say, somebody provides the cost to build a network. It could be government. It could be civil organizations, philanthropic pursuits. And we build that. And sometimes, there is then to the citizen, there is a way to say, you can access certain things for free. Other things you might have to pay a small fee for. That happens too.
Now, if you look at those models, there is a Gulf of possibilities about how you fund all of those. And what, in my view, you should never close the opportunity for every single opportunity to fund any of those so that people have access and connectivity. You should never turn them away without looking at them. That is my position on that.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Okay, before we ask anybody else to contribute. Just saying ‑‑ sorry. Is there a remote participation? There is a remote participation intervention. So two things. People who are in the audience, this is a roundtable so feel free to contribute actively as well. Don't just be an audience. You can join in. There is a remote participation question or intervention but I'm seeing Bob and Neils. So let's do the remote intervention and then ‑‑
>> REMOTE PARTICIPANT: (Indiscernible) ‑‑ from Tunisia. As you said, there is two type of access. There is access to the network, which is connectivity so someone has to pay for. It is not free at all. And there is access to the services to the content. And this is another thing. Now today we have a lot of content which is for free. But nothing is for free. Everything is paid for. So, what is the benefit of those services to the Small Islands or to developing areas in general? I think there must be or might be a very good benefit for them but as it is used now, Internet is not giving a lot of interest to those people. Because the most services used are FACEBOOK, et cetera. Things like this. There is no use for the benefit of the grass root. No ‑‑ for example application to help the grass root, to make use of this network to have a better life.
And I think this is more or less a problem of content. If we think about local content and local language, this might be very helpful for those people, for the grass root. And I think that all developing regions, including the islands, should develop their content for their people in their language. That is how they will help. That's how the Internet will be useful. And to let FACEBOOK only ‑‑ it is not useful at all. Not useful for the development. Not useful for education. I don't think it is what is needed. What is needed is to have local application and local languages. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. And I just want to take the remote intervention. Go ahead remote intervention.
>> REMOTE PARTICIPANT: Thank you for the opportunity, Chair. We will give the floor to Maureen from Cook Islands.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Yes, Maureen, go ahead.
>> MAUREEN HILYARD: I'm trying to make it.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: We can hear you, go ahead.
>> MAUREEN HILYARD: Thank you. So, very early good morning to you. I just wanted to sort of like say that, in the Pacific, related to this particular equation, in the Pacific, accessibility and connectivity are very important. But there is a major affordability issue for many of our users. So when a free deal is offered, many would be absolutely up aware of any attached strings so that there is a real need for education and awareness-raising to ensure that users get the access that they need to the Internet, but they are also aware of the costs to them as a user, whatever the costs may be. And they have been raised by people like Deidre and I guess that I can see Vint's point where he is coming from, but in the Cook Islands, for example, there is a real affordability issue.
I think that people are not accessing the Internet as much as they could to actually add value to their lives. I'll stop there.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So, let's do ‑‑ Vint wants to respond. Let's do then Rhea, Bob and Neils and then we'll move on to the other subjects after. And we have another colleague coming from the audience.
>> VINT CERF: I'd like to suggest we get off of this FACEBOOK stuff for a moment. I think our objective ought to be getting people online to get access to all of the Internet's contents, to get local content in local languages and so on. But what I would like to emphasize is that not every group will necessarily look attractive as a business proposition for a commercial carrier to move in and provide facilities and services. And that does not mean therefore those people can't get on the net or kept afford to get on the net. What we do have to do is figure out what the cost are for connectivity to the rest of the Internet and for access to that connectivity.
But there are a variety of ways in which that could be subsidized. So in the U.S., there is an e‑rate, electronic rate, subsidy for schools and for libraries, for example. It is possible that the government or the citizens could decide. We tax ourselves at a rate which is associated with our income, for example, but the state chooses to use some of those tax revenues to provide common access to a facility, the Internet, in this case.
So, I think we should be very open to a variety of different ways in which the costs of access can be covered and they don't necessarily require people to pay specifically for their usage. And certainly in a co‑op model, it tends to be more like everybody pays for the cost and then we use the resulting facility. The USF notion has elements of that.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So, Rhea?
>> RHEA YAW CHING: Thank you. The track record of free connectivity in the region has been, in my view, very much a failure from terms of physical broadband access that is made available for free, and free to use. Only from my own examples of providing free access to schools, community centers, post offices, police stations and you name it; because again, that is just part of the equation. I agree 100% with the sentiments expressed earlier, that this is a three‑part issue. This is accessibility and affordability of both the infrastructure and the connection, as well as devices. And that is the part that is missing.
And then thirdly, which is the translation of the benefit, the application. So therefore, tracking usage of Free Internet access or free access to schools for the last 10 years, has basically demonstrated to me that there has been absolutely no derived benefit. Derived benefit to what? Because the point of this is, development, economic development in Small Island Developing States. So we are talking about the education system. Can students translate the access to the Internet into real education benefits for them? And the only way that can happen is if there is content related or relative or related to them that can translate into that benefit. And that, in many of the countries in the Caribbean -- we are not there yet. Nowhere near. And so, we still adopt a foreign Internet when we do these things, which therefore in my education example, is not applicable and therefore is underutilized or unused for that purpose.
Fast forward all of the initiatives as it relates to trying to promote a local ‑‑ development of local content or our local Internet, and the evolution of ISPs, is an important ‑‑ the important movement in this process. But again, that is just the intermediary.
We need to get to the content and applications and if you look at ‑‑ I don't want to now harp on the FACEBOOK thing but I'm only using FACEBOOK as one example. If FACEBOOK is the Number 1 site globally for photo sharing and storage, then local content for our islands are being housed, not by local applications and deriving a local economic or social benefit. To me, that is a tragedy. And unless we can create alternatives that can be made free for use, so Free Internet for local applications to be made free by these service providers, then the discussion for me will always be a temporary one to facilitate access by users who don't have access to the Internet temporarily; because I will not sanction the continuation of a foreign identity where we are trying to find local applications to promote our own economies.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So, Bob then Neils.
>> BOB FRANKS: First, I'll invite you to community network talk tomorrow so I don't have to explain everything now. But I agree with Vint and the FACEBOOK conversation. I had a brief conversation earlier this week. There is an altruistic FACEBOOK that wants to provide Internet connectivity a part from the application. They benefit from people who might choose to use it but at some point have enough money to help things. So I want to separate out the infrastructure from the other issues. We have to also remember this. The reason I tell the road story is it took a while for people to understand why you need intercity roads and there is a process that I want to enable for that.
I remember conversations I had with people, how to you make executives use computers? This is 1970. 10 years later we had the answer. Make it useful. And at that point, executives were the ones using computers. We didn't care. We took the ‑‑ since we had a 1970 this must be useful, and at some point people started to find it useful. And I think the key thing here is to realize that it is cost benefit. The cost of the Internet now is infinite number of times higher than it would be if we just had access. In other words, the fact that you have phone companies and all of this is a bad model. So I think a lot of the cots we see once you am ties over a community, become lower. So the government is us. The taxes are us. And it's really a matter of starting a process and the reason I wanted to invite community networks to start a process. I'm going to use a example tomorrow of tracking cattle as a use. Look at the social uses. We forget the infrastructure uses and it takes a while for that to be obvious. So I think whatever means we have to ‑‑ in other words, instead of struggling so hard, we want to make it simple things useful. That's why I appreciate the low bandwidth point.
The web started with dial up. All this video is new. Still a lot of value to be had with simple low‑cost connectivity but it's a process.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. Neils. You had an intervention.
>> NEILS TEN OEVER: Thank you very much. I'm aware the economic argument is a very important argument. But it's not the only argument. Return of investment should not be the only argument that we think about. Internet is an integral part of our life. So we do not let companies decide what our complete public space looks like. Our roads to continue the analogy, have sidewalks, baud sidewalks because we want to stimulate people walk. It's healthy. It's nice. We enjoy it and not everyone is in cars. And there is a value statement in that how we design our public space. And Internet feels like a public space but I'm also very aware that it is built on private infrastructure so we need to marry the two somehow. But we can make the demands for what we want our public space to look like. We can say we want sidewalks. We want pedestrians to be there but we also want shops to be filled with cars. We have safety standards for devices. We do not let every device simply on the market.
So we do not necessarily need to be open for every solution, every option, because some options are simply not meeting our standards of freedom of expression, freedom of association.
We can challenge the companies. Let's not pretend that these companies are poor. Right? Taxation again, is not the only option. Don't be afraid. Just challenge them to be more creative and set a bit of a higher standard and think further and make that investment because they will find a return of investment in the end or show some true altruism. And what we want, what I think we should demand is access to the full Internet not a part of it. And that means all the content and a full protocol stack.
>> (Off Mic)
>> VINT CERF: Look, the Internet is not FACEBOOK or Google. It is an infrastructure. If the people want to put new content on the Internet, they are free to do that and they should do that. That's exactly why the Internet isn't useful unless it has content on it that somebody wants to use. We are not in disagreement about wanting everybody to get access to anything they want to first order.
I'm in agreement with you there. But what I keep hearing in this discussion is this conflation of business applications sitting on top of an infrastructure with the infrastructure itself and the cost of that infra structure and I would please ask you to separate those things so that you recognize that the infrastructure itself is completely agnostic to the content. It is agnostic. If we can find a way to get the cost of the infrastructure covered somehow by a model, then you're free to put any content on it that you want that you find useful. And if we can separate those two things, we may actually find some solutions.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: So it's not just content. It's applications?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: So in the interest of cooling this down, I see we have a colleague coming from the audience. Can you help us?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I don't know if I can help. I can raise a few issues. I'm Roger Mathews and I represent COAI, the Mobile Operators of India. You might ask why did we have islands? Some of the largest aggregation of islands affiliated with India and we have tremendous issues there. I just wanted to highlight a few issues and ask perhaps for some deliberation on this.
For one thing, is that I'm very glad that we rediscovered the principle there is no free lunch. The first point that needs to be articulated is a realistic understanding of the cost. And I think that is something, because governments, always when they are involved as in most of these instances when there is a subsidy involved, constantly underestimate the cost of projects. And as a result, they end up in trouble. They end up not being fulfilled.
So I think an aggregation of the true cost. For example in the islands it's very clear that getting cable is going to be a far cry and take a long time and in nerves of satellite coverage, the government is now decided to put up its own satellite to get coverage. In terms of saying, look, what is the true cost of providing? What is the subsidy? How do we basically go around making sure that private public partnerships, which ultimately seem to be working, are the paradigm so that the cost elements are properly understood, the paybacks and going forward. Points that they transfer between government and private are perfectly understood. That's the first one.
The second thing, very often we get a very paternalistic approach to solving our problems. We say, this is what we think will happen. Very often when we go into situations and put up a site, you will be surprised at the types of things that happen in terms of dynamics, what is used, how people use it, and what they use it for. So the first point is that let's just be a little more open and flexible in terms of the approach that is used in terms of the interaction of the folks that are using. They are not one homogenized pool and we seen this in the Aneime Islands where you have a very large transient population, a population that is very tourist‑oriented and indigenous population.
So, this issue of subsidies alcohols very key because the folks who appear on these tourist ships are not to be subsidized. The question then is, what is the roaming arrangements and how do these work and what is the cost of these cross subsidies that come from these types of roaming arrangements that come and use the infrastructure. So that is something that needs to be looked at very critically.
The second thing is aggregation of public policy. One of the problems we face in the Aneime Niqab Islands, is you can't put up a cell site in just about two‑thirds of the island. Why? It's government forest. It's near sensitive properties, IE beach land, mangroves, these types of things. We have to ask ourselves where does public policy in terms of the preservation of the environment and these types of restrictions, fit in in terms of where people do and live and do their business?
I think there needs to be a major in terms of public policy in terms of how we go about that. And the final point I want to make is when there are subsidies and cross subsidies, one of the issues the Government of India faces, how do we ensure the subsidy gets into the right hands? We have that problem and look for example, handsets are very expensive and service is expensive and we are going to target this the population to ensure that they get the appropriate subsidies. Well, when identity is a problem and you don't have bank accounts and all of these issues, how do you make sure that the subsidy gets into the right hands and it doesn't get spread into the wrong hands and all of this?
The government has to face those types of issues and challenges and that is one of the things we are dealing with in the other type of issues in terms of making sure that people have some access to informal banking arrangements or some such thing in order to be able to ensure we go forward. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I think this is very healthy discussion. Although it's starting to feel like I'm moderating a public debate here. So, perhaps we have another gentleman. Are you waiting to speak, sir? Go ahead.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. It's Mike Henson from the Association for Progressive Communications. I have been involved in advising on a number of submarine cable fiber projects for islands in the Indian Ocean in the south Atlantic and I was thinking that it would be good to try and focus the efforts we have around here on some of the specific challenges that Small Island Developing States have, namely being very far away from the hubs of the Internet, small populations, small economies.
People in Saint Helena have a huge difficulty in justifying the cost of getting a submarine cable there. How do we do this in a way that makes it cheap enough so that people can make the Internet free or subsidize it in some way that it makes it very low cost for most people?
And I was happy to hear the example in Sao Tome where there is a public‑private partnership that created open access infrastructure that created competitive environment that makes it cheap enough for people to get access at an affordable rate. And so, what is particularly interesting to me at the moment is the situation in the Caribbean right now where we have such a consolidation in the market that it seems like 90% of the capacity in the region is going to be controlled by one operator. How are we going to deal with that situation in the long run in terms of keeping sure or making sure that there is say competitive pressure in the market and keeping prices affordable enough for a free‑type access? Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. And so I'm seeing quite a few hands. Let me pose the next question and revert to the crowd and see if you can bring your responses into the line of the next question into view to the Panel which is, what are the options available in Small Island Developing States in exploring increased access, promoting inclusion? So we have this quite healthy discussion going on. What are the options available? And I think some of our colleagues from the audience just brought that together. So I'm seeing my first colleague from PNG. Can you introduce yourself?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello. My name is Ceica (sp) from Papua, New Guinea. I think in Papua, New Guinea and a lot of Pacific Islands also, there is somewhat of a Internet phobia starting to develop in that people are afraid because of increasingly high cost of Internet, they are afraid of having their data on because the pre‑paid phone credit they have just runs out and that is a very scary situation for me.
I think we keep going back to the government but maybe the government is not as aware of what is happening in our space of expertise. So, I think maybe that is one area that we can probably work on is improving government capacity in this area so that the correct interventions can be made and rather than just align the market to determine what people have access to, maybe it's just something they will look into. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. We have Kevon.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much. Kevon Swift from LACNIC but I'm really just making this comment and to some of the previous comments before, in a personal capacity. I just wanted to touch a bit on what the gentleman from APC said and I think Ginger touched on it a bit. I think one of the interesting things for me is that I think we do have a good exchange of Caribbean perspectives on some of the common topics that we hear about. Free Internet. What is free? But in considering what options we have for Small Island state, Small Island Developing States, I really wanted to find out where are we addressing these options?
When we talk about building physical infrastructure we adjust them in the right places. I say so because when I was looking at the session, I know we spoke about a SIDS conference moving from Barbados to Samoa. And I feel as if when it comes that sort of like, we know it is a slider between market forces and intervention, but I feel as if in the SIDS conference, in the SIDS dialogue, it's not appropriately addressed. So, while we are talking about options, while we are talking about solutions, to actually get that information from a SIDS perspective, not just Caribbean and Pacific, but AIMS. I'm not sure if anyone from AIMS are here. How do we address that and are we addressing it correctly?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I think actually I'm going to turn it and address issues and Deidre you had an intervention and address the point. I think we do have a challenge with that. In the SIDS conference, the ICT component is extremely limited. It's extremely limited and not discussed. And we do need to find pay way to bring that dialogue into that area where we can all discuss among ourselves so governments and Civil Society in the islands can have this discussion among ourselves and push it forward.
>> DEIRDRE WILLIAMS: Deidre Williams from St. Lucia again. There is something that would help us very much as well as being here, I'm a housewife. And if I have to buy things for the house, I need to look tea price because I don't have endless money. Now, a business is a business with now ethic. And the business's ethic is tied to its profit, its bottom line. And that is perfectly all right. That's the way those things run.
What I'm having difficulty with is that the business seems to want to present itself as an altruistic organization, which it isn't. I'm sorry. It isn't. I don't mind you wanting to make a profit. But what I would like in this new atmosphere of transparency is for you to tell me how much it costs. We have been told over and over again that IXPs are a very good idea because they save so much in the cost of international transmission of data. I've asked. How much this costs? I'd like to know. And then I know I, at the bottom of the stack, I can know how much I can afford to pay. Nobody will tell me.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: So, our roundtable is fun. So there are two responses to the IXP issue apparently. But Bevil, can you intervene and perhaps we can move to the gentleman on my left and then back to Bob.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Bevil Wooding of Packet Clearing House. I can link this to Deidre's question as well. I wanted to talk about this issue of the, how this infrastructure ties into the affordability, ties into the development of more local content. I think the connection is important. We had some interesting debate over the separation between infrastructure and the applications that run on top of that infrastructure and I think that that decision is important but that distinction also points to a synchronization that has to take place if you want to achieve the optimal group of the Internet in any jurisdiction whether large or small.
So if we look at ‑‑ let me paraphrase. Whatever can be done to reduce the cost of access and to improve the robustness of infrastructure is beneficial to the Internet group. So what you get then is an understanding of some levers, reducing the cost of that, this is one lever. Improving the robustness of the Internet is another. Stimulating local content development is another. And there are levers that have to be manipulated in a way that one takes into consideration the uniqueness of any local domain or space. But two, also has to link to what is the available local resource that can be directed to implement infrastructure improvement or expansion, implement local content development, or implement the issue of understanding the economics of Internet access in a jurisdiction. And I have over the last few years, been fortunate enough to see some of those levers in action. And I'll use the proliferation of Internet Exchange Points in the Caribbean toil straight some of the reasons why you can't get a simple answer as an IXP causes X or Y or Z, because whatever you want it to cost to get it going.
( Laughs )
That is the point. These are often talked about as critical or foundation Internet infrastructure, critical infrastructure that many people use to describe the role of exchange points. They are supposed to accelerate local content production and reduce cost and improve bandwidth access. But from the global example of exchange points, you will see that not all jurisdictions where they implement, have all the benefit working in the same way to the same extent. A
nd I think that is a good indicator of some of the complexity that is involved in building out what some people call the domestic Internet Economy which plugs into the global Internet Economy. And for Small Island Developing States, a lot of the challenges are no different from rural districts in developed states and larger economies and so on. These are the same issues. And while there are some unique challenges, distance in the Pacific Islands for example, or in the case of the Caribbean, the existence of a super dominant wholesale Internet provider, the fundamental issue of manipulating these levers becomes a priority if we are to look at how do you get to low cost access or improving infrastructure.
I want to give an example of what is taking place in the Caribbean to kind of round off my contribution. The organization of eastern Caribbean states, nine‑member treaty‑based organization, is currently looking at a way to deliver what they have defined as public good Internet services, by implementing their own fiber Sub‑C connectivity ring. And that technical feasibility for that is being done. And I was making the point in one of the lead‑up discussions of that process, that announcement would be sufficient to reduce the cost of wholesale Internet access in the Caribbean. Just the announcement. A group of national governments exploring the possibility of putting in place their own Internet infrastructure at the sub sea level would trigger a reassessment or re‑evaluation of the economics of the commercial Internet service provider in that jurisdiction. And I'm so again ‑‑ the levers access infrastructure, content, all have to be manipulated in sync if you want to get optimal Internet benefit.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you, Bevil.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good morning, my name is Mike from Google. I work a lot with our teams that build Google's network and infrastructure especially in Africa. So I'm only going to talk about the infra structure and not the business model so I don't get in trouble with Vint and especially one of the key leaders that Bevil mentioned with reducing the cost of access. And I think a lot of the discussions I have been hearing this morning, if we can get to a situation of abundance of Internet, capacity and bandwidth, then we don't need to talk about scarcity. We don't need to try to deal with problems of partial access offerings and so on. And my thought would be, I think, especially for some of these small states and Small Island Developing States, if you could be open to innovative ideas and approaches as to twice tackle this problem, I think it will be really help move innovation forward.
Just to give a couple of examples, things that we are working on at Google, like using TV white spaces for transmission of data so you don't have to necessary have a license spectrum always interfering with the licensed operators. Last week I think we announced a paper with the Telecoms operators in Indonesia to help expand coverage across Indonesia, 17,000 islands, I think, incredibly hard to provide mobile phone coverage across those countries. And loan could be an innovative way of bringing of the costs both Internet access in Indonesia down.
So, just to summarize, just to say innovation can come from any direction, any participant in the Internet Ecosystem, whether it's a Telecoms operator or a content company like Google or a government or educational initiative. So be open to that innovation and it be help, I think.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. So Bob and then Vint and then Carlton to assess or to provide the options that small Developing States can take forward in terms of getting more affordable Internet access.
>> BOB FRANKS: My comfort zone is a deep technical decision of how this works. What I do want to emphasize is much of what I hear, in of Internet access, providers, and all of these are the 19th Century vocabulary and the created value inside the network that can preserve the call and everything. That was a business model very much like a railroad. The Internet, the value is created outside of the network.
So it becomes technology is enabling a very different economic model and one was accounting. So you ask about a cost of ISP, you can't answer that because the cost of anything depends on your accounting model and with this, for example competing broadband doesn't make sense because it's all one Internet. So we have to really sort of understand that the Internet is a fundamentally different concept and we can consider the ‑‑ don't have to synchronize all the stuff in the same way because any way we can get capacity, we can use it. Separately we can find uses.
So really have to understand this new marketplace dynamic. That is enabled by simply with best effort packs. That was the real insight of the Internet was a switch from the network providing reliability to taking all that out of the network and accepting that constraint. I think that was the hardest part.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Can I toss to Vint to give thoughts as to what he thinks perhaps are options these Small Island States could have to give more formal access?
>> VINT CERF: First thing I would observe the idea that the islands got together and cooperate said wonderful. I hoped that we would see this kind of collaborative choice, whether building fiber together or doing satellite capacity or something else to essentially take advantage of their ability to leverage demand. So that is one point which I'm really glad to hear about.
The second point is that once the infrastructure is in place, it is arguable that it is only useful if the applications and content are of interest to the people that that infrastructure is trying to serve. The people who build the physical infrastructure are often not the people who produce the content and generate applications, and that is actually a good thing. It's not that they can't do that, in many cases they do. Google is an example of that. We are fairly vertical when it comes to applications and infrastructure but the good part is that you don't have to be vertical structure in order to provide these things. Anyone, in a sense, should be free to supply content and applications. That is what made the Internet and its architecture so powerful it is open to anyone offering these various kinds of applications.
So, the solution for the islands, though, boils down to what the two friends here on either side have been saying, which is that getting local access is one set of problems. And it can be done in a variety of different ways at varying costs and varying parts who pay. Getting expect activity to the global Internet is another problem. And that has its own set of dynamics. We are had hearing various ways to achieve that but we should be careful not to lump all of these problems together into one thing. They can be disarticulated and solutions can be found for each of them. Sometimes very different business models or if not business ‑‑ I don't want to over emphasize business. Cost models and cost recovery models can vary for different parts.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: So, here are some of the things we are doing in the Caribbean, access and connectivity.
>> CARLTON SAMUELS: The idea is we have to change. It converges ‑‑ policy converges there. So we have universal service obligations and one of the things that we have been pushing governments to do is to change universal service obligations from small world voice to broadband. And with that happening, you will begin to see the commercial providers now having to look to different strategies to build out infrastructure in support of their service obligations for which they are licensed. We see examples of this in the Bahamas. For example, the Bahamas, television signals are universal service obligation. Guess how they offer television services in the Bahamas by cable. So they have cable systems building out and you have wire broadband and that is happening.
We are looking to the public‑private partnership to build out the network and happening in a variety of ways. We have white spaces. There is new interest in using TDY spaces and what is accrued from the digital dividends from analogue to digital broadcasting to make that available. We are running a I pilot in Jamaica to see how that can be used and specifically to be used for broadband wireless Internet access. About some things have to converge around there.
We have to change the spectrum management frameworks. And we are promoting, realignment of the spectrum. We are promoting realignment of the spectrum so that we can have access to delivery platforms, high altitude platforms to deliver. You heard of one project, loan, that is one type. There are others out there. And the idea is that if you can get or use platforms to have more Wi‑Fi access, then the coverage increases and the accessibility increases and it's a low cost to provision that infrastructure.
Bevil has been very reticent to talk about some of the work she doing because you have to drive demand. So content is important. And he has been doing a lot of work in helping to build the infrastructure, to create content, to make local content available. He has been training content providers in all content and providing developers to develop mobile development. He has been a lot of work on that. We have been working with libraries to develop union catalogs, a lot of local content that can be promoted if we can find it. And one of the things that union catalogs do, it allows you to access the fine content. Deidre is here. She say librarian and knows about this very well.
So these are things that we are doing right now. The challenge we have as Bevil tells you, is you have to use different pieces of the puzzle to move it along. And it's not going to be seamless all the time because in some places, it is the content part that is high priority. In other places, it is the policy part that is priority to get through. And there is an orchestration that is required. And this is where all of us come into play now because the knowledge that is required to make all of these things work is diffused and not all concentrations in one place. That's where the collaboration is very important. We don't mind having people from the outside collaborate with us to achieve an objective. And it is important for you to understand that in the Caribbean, the market stratification that is happening in the Caribbean right now is a cause for concern for lots of whose think it is important to improve access to improve connectivity.
And some of these things we are talking about is some of the ways that we can push back on that possibility. So, things are happening. What we would wish to tell you is that you have to find your place to participate. Find your place to:rate. We could get some things done.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. We have five minutes left. I'm quite seeing a lot of fingers going up. Dr. Patrick Hosein wanted to say something. Deidre will dot final statement so please allow her some time to do that. Please keep your interventions very brief now.
>> PATRICK HOSEIN: Just a short comment. One area I'm interested in for our island is QUALCOMM and others are developing a version of LTE for unlicensed spectrum and in some countries they use it flow traffic from the cellular network et cetera and I think that will be something useful in our environment.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm Mike Oghia Internet Society Ambassador. I never lived on an island and not from an island state. But this is a more of a comment for the session as a whole. Something I think, one thing I'd like to emphasize that hasn't been stressed enough is the critical role of Civil Society in capacity building, monitoring regulation, regulation as well. Definitely is a space that is inherently connected to accessibility and proliferation and cost. And Civil Society has a very important role to play to hold governments and private companies accountable for how their services and expansion impacts island citizens, for either positively or negatively.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. Bevil you had an intervention?
>> BEVIL WOODING: I was going to suggest emphasize this issue of collaboration. Vint said earlier there are different parts and each part was essentially distinct. I made the point about synchronization. There is a way towards that synchronization. Most of the actors infrastructure space and local content space or in the policy space, don't really see or spoke to each other in the same way using the same language. And a huge part of moving this along in sync has to do with these kinds of conversation that is give opportunity for a common understanding of what we are trying to build when we say Internet Economy or when we say we want Internet access and those kinds of things.
I want to give one quick example of a digitization project that Antigua and Barbados is considering as an example of how snag would have been too small to be considered viable in one country can solve the needs of several. Digitization of content is of course, a pre‑rec sit for getting content online and there is a lot of government content and a lot of national content that remains in these formats. When we say we need more local content, there are building websites and videos and these things and then this issue of taking archives and making them available on the Internet and right now that Antigua government is considering setting up a system in place that not only includes equipment and infrastructure but training that can then cause them to serve as a hub for digitization exercises in the Caribbean.
Those kinds of collaborative efforts are big part of the synchronization that we speak of that ties into the world that is going on at the exchange pointed and service providers around, how do we refashion the universal service to support what kind of new initiatives. And because those conversations are taking place at the same time, have you some momentum being moved towards something that can make a difference.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. I saw a hand go up. Keep it very brief.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. So very quickly, there are small group subset of Developing States as classified as least Developed Countries.
(Indiscernible) ‑‑ calls for universal and affordable access for these countries by in five years. What is important particularly within these countries, there is often a gap between access for men and women and I think we should recognize that as well when we talk about efforts to provide access for all, and affordability for all, this is the gap that needs to be congressed in those countries.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Very important point. Rhea can you help us close up?
>> RHEA YAW CHING: I want to make a quick point. The last segment or group that I think is not reflected in being able to extract the best value out of the endpoint of the Internet for Small Island Developing States is the inclusion of other regulatory environments that make those applications and contented seamless to provide the activity we need and I'm referring to the regulators in the finance area being able to ‑‑ if we believe that financial resources are underpinned driving of economic growth and development, then that entity or group must be able to work in tandem with the solution providers and the Telecoms base and the application creators and so on to be able to make that seamless solution to make sense.
So and there are other regulators and other areas that I think need to start being included in these kinds of conversations as well.
So that being said, I'm going to try to summarize a very interesting and vibrant points raised here. I think we started off with a definition dichotomy. And I think what we settled on is being able to understand what is Free Internet as it relates to the parts of the Internet, the infrastructure or talking about applications or are we talking about the parts of it that are free for use or is it free from payment and so on? And I think it is in a sense all of the above but we have to be able to discuss each one of these in its respective streams as it relates to the overall objective, again, in being able to derive the maximum benefit for our own small economies.
And again, the objective with all trying to arrive at is access and utilization towards the consideration of the applications that can transform those economies and we understand from the discussion now we understand that there are system of levers that need to work in tandem in order for that to happen. And that multiple parts of the Internet working in tandem with different stakeholders, have to work to use the words adopted here, work in synchronization in order for the entire thing to happen. But, with a deep understanding that synchronization may not necessarily happen in a seamless way or arrive at a seamless way or at the appropriate times and we want.
The system around us needs to be orchestrated so that we can arrive at that synchronization of the various components of the Internet so that we can manipulate those levers and that becomes, if I understand it correctly, the imperative now; the imperative that we are able to identify those levers, how they move and work within our own economies, and as a collective, in order to work it.
One of the strong points that came out as well was that there needs to be an expansion of the stakeholders of the Internet with a stropping focus on non‑technology players, Civil Society academia and so on, to be formative in ‑‑ or part of that ecosystem of players.
And finally, it seems very obvious now but collaboration is key and collaboration is not easy, especially where there are Agendas that are diverse. But a large part of the collaboration is underpinned by the need for ‑‑ they think came out last, a common understanding of what we are talking about here. A common understanding of the framework, the language, and the overall objective so that we can realize the aspiration that is we want economically and socially for our region.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you very much, Rhea, and I think that was an excellent appreciation of the discussion that we had. I think we all agreed it was very healthy and quite informative and animated in some cases. And I trust you appreciated the roundtable format where everyone has a chance to see and to contribute and respond. Thank you all for coming and I do appreciate your enthusiasm and vibrant commentary. Just to let you know that this session is a feeder session into the 2:00 session this afternoon. So please, come and intervene if you need to regarding this session. Rhea will be doing the read out into the Main Session but we also appreciate any further discussions you may have. So thank you very much and enjoy the rest of your IGF and have a productive rest of your day. Thank you very much to all my discussants. Thank you very much.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Okay. Should we start? Dear many participants of the session, thank you for joining us. It is the quality that matters, not the quantity as always. So thank you for joining us. Some sessions are still on. So we do expect more people during the course of the session. I think this has become already kind of a tradition on the session since 2011. We have been trying to put up the guidelines or recommendations on or principles for e‑participation. So how should it actually work.
My personal opinion if I can express it is that we manage to come up to a very good document throughout the next couple of years. The session today will have three parts. First ‑‑ all three parts all of us will take part. The first part will be a brief intro in to what are the main principles. And Ginger will present briefly and we can discuss what you think about the principles if they can be improved. And the second part we want to do a debate between the two teams. There will be a motion about and against e‑participation. And your role as the participants in the session will be to actually protect them with good questions. And at the end vote who you think that was better with the arguments. And that should hopefully lead us to get some more or sharper evidence, sharper comments and thoughts about goods and bads of e‑participation. And the last part we are going to open up and discuss how do we implement it further and where do we get funding and what the IGF should do and so on and so forth. Ginger, I leave it to you to briefly present the principle and the whole process.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you, Vlad and I thank those of you who have come. And can I ask someone to bring a copy of the principles to the gentleman who just joined us in the back? We gave you a copy because it is important to share the work that has been done by participants like yourselves since 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya, when we started a series of workshops on the principles for remote participation which had been brought to that point by the remote participation Working Group for the IGF. And my colleague, Raquel Gatto, Maria Massil, a small group of hard workers and firm believers in the remote participation agitated until we could get some work. We in particular appreciate the work of the captioners, if you are listening to me, you know that we are among your greatest admirers because the transcripts make it much easier for remote participants to join in to read under slow conditions when they have bad audio, when they don't have video. We always have the backup of the captioners. So that ability and that service is greatly appreciated.
You have in front of you the principles separated in to several sections. You'll see inclusiveness which is, of course, one of the basic principles underlying remote participation allowing ‑‑
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Can I quickly interrupt you because I got a note from the remote participants there are couple of them whether there is an online copy of the document at the moment. We will share it later with them as well.
>> GINGER PAQUE: The link to the online, Dee, can you find it in e‑mail and post it for the remote participants? It is a Google document. We did share it in the announcement.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Okay.
>> GINGER PAQUE: But I am not seeing it here.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: During the course of the session we can simply send them the link.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Yes, it is online. It is a living document. You can open it, join it and comment on it. We do count on ‑‑ one of the outputs of this workshop again is to keep growing, keep working on it and see how we can bring them to reality. Because it is precisely that inclusiveness that we are looking for. It may be that we would have a session that has more online participants like the Diplo webinars. At the end of the month we give an I.D. barometer and updates on the events of the month. There are more online participants than in the venue in Geneva. I am not going to go through the document and read that because now the remote participants have the link and each of you here have a copy. I do hope that you will access it online as well and make your comments.
After inclusiveness which brings more people in to the process, that's not quite enough. Because we don't want remote observation. We want remote participation and we want equality of participation. When the floor is opened by the Moderator of a panel for comments and questions, we expect that the Moderator will respect the right of the remote participations, participants to participate on an equal footing. Now that doesn't mean we need preference. That doesn't mean remote participants can't intervene whenever they want during the session, but means they be given their proper place in the queue, but the Moderator of the session realizes there are remote participants and should be included in the call for comments and questions. These questions should be taken in to consideration and answered as well. There are other points that are perhaps a bit idealistic for equality of participation because it is very difficult to bring our remote participants in to the coffee breaks and to serve them our coffee and our excellent chocolate muffins that we are having here.
But we do work on it and we are trying ‑‑ we hope that we will all work at giving these same opportunities to the remote participants when possible. Another area of principles is scale and scaleability ‑‑ and stability. There have to be funding mechanisms to allow for this because without funding, of course, it is only an ideal that we are shooting for that we are working for. How are we going to do problem solving and new implementations if there isn't funding. We need to make sure that remote participation is institutionalized and both the budget and the strategies take in to account the needs.
Our next section deals with capacity building which, of course, will help in all the other areas as everyone realizes and we raise the awareness of remote participation and the need to be able to include not everyone can make it here to Joao Pessoa. It is very far and it is a bit expensive for some of us to be here. Not everyone can find funding. Raising awareness within funding mechanisms organizers and with participants or would be participants themselves is very important.
The principles then extend to providing platforms and improving platforms so that all participants can join and that includes Persons with Disabilities who may have hearing audio, visibility ‑‑ vision, other difficulties to join us online as well. It is difficult perhaps to be here in person and then what about online. Still our websites and our tools are not completely compatible for those who are participating at a distance or those who have disabilities that affect their participation.
Our last area is integrating e‑participation. And that is the ideal when we begin to integrate remote participation in to the methods and provinces of workshop planning. The panel Moderator takes in to account the people in the room and the people who are outside the room and who are engaged. Our tech team who do such a wonderful job for us. Already we have our captioners working with us. And we have our tech team for remote participation and I must say that I just came out of a main session where we had an excellent example of remote participation including a remote presentation with his slides, audio and video as well as presentations from remote participants.
So we ‑‑ it doesn't really make sense to go more in to these. You have them in front of you. You can work with them and read them and go online. What I would like to say you have heard more or less what is in there. What do you think isn't in there that should be in there? We know what we already did. What's the future and what's the innovation we are missing? What can you bring in? If you came to the room you must have had some kind of concern about remote or online or e‑participation. Is there something that we are not addressing that you would like to see in it? We already know what we did. What should we do?
Any comments? Any reasoning behind it or questions or responses?
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: We should try to find a microphone. There is a microphone. So you will just have to stretch your legs and ‑‑ okay. Thanks. And introduce yourselves for the sake of the transcripts.
>> ARSENE TUNGALI BAGUMA: This is Arsene. I am an ISOC Ambassador to the IGF and I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am glad to be part of this session as it is one of my sessions ‑‑ I mean one of my interests. I took the DiploFoundation online courses like three years ago and this was one of my ‑‑ the courses I took. So I encourage and really like how we are able to provide remote participation for participants because for the past three years I haven't been able to be physically in to any IGF meetings but I was following, I was following remotely. But the challenge that we have and which is an issue everywhere is access to the Internet. And it is ‑‑ I would say it is impossible for some people to be able to participate remotely where they can't have access to the Internet. But there is the other way of using mobile phones. I don't know whether that's ‑‑ I don't know how you would call it. I don't know whether you have mentioned it in one of those ‑‑ when we are talking about the platforms. I don't know whether you have included that as an alternative for people who are not able to access Internet but who can still participate remotely using their mobile phones. Thank you.
>> GINGER PAQUE: That's an excellent point. Thank you. If you don't have access to the Internet, you are even further marginalized. Unfortunately that's beyond the scope of what we can deal with here. I have to admit I am not even sure we are using WebEx for the IGF meetings. I'm not sure whether it is accessible on mobile. Does anyone here know?
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: I tried it. It works quite well.
>> GINGER PAQUE: That's a good answer. The Diplo webinars and classrooms are completely accessible on mobile. So the countries that have leapfrogged directly to mobile access for better or for worse are being incorporated in to this system. So that's one way of access or perhaps we can work on more. But it is true and I don't think we dealt anywhere in our principles about the problem of the need for access to the internet in order to participate online. And I have made a note but I hope you will also make that comment. Right now can I ask our remote Moderator if we have any comments pending? And if at any time you do have any comments, please invite them to join us, and let us know if you have any comments from the online participants. If not yet, at any time that they do, this is a very informal platform except during the debate you are welcome to jump in any time.
>> REMOTE MODERATOR: Thank you, Chair. We have just some participants there, they are interacting in the chat room. And they just had access to the link with the file. And after they have read the file they said they are going to have some more comments.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you very much and thank you for your help. So that's one excellent point. And if nothing else, it is worth having this workshop to have one good solid improvement to the principles. So thank you, Arsene. That's very valuable.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: If I can add one comment. When I was reading again, I thought it is an interesting angle is what are actually the advantages of being an online participant comparing to those in the room? And I'm not talking about being able to walk around your own room in panties rather than being in a suit. I'm talking about exactly what she said now. So we have kind of a parallel discussion. And I think Muriel mentioned it recently. She sent an e‑mail. It was an example, IGF or somewhere what it actually used the webinar platform for in situ participants to raise their hand because it was more convenient to follow the flow of who raised their hand, when and so on.
>> GINGER PAQUE: But at that point don't you think that is a use of an ICT to carry out a more orderly use that using a tool?
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Yes.
>> GINGER PAQUE: I like the comment and I think it is important, but what I would see is the advantage to putting the online and the in situ participants in equal footing in raising their hands and that's a strong value in equalling and levelling the field. I wonder if it would be better to wait for the advantages and disadvantages until after the debate.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: We can mingle here in the corridors and they can't, but on the other hand, they can mingle during the session and we can't.
>> GINGER PAQUE: As our Remote Moderator pointed out. The remote participants are mingling and chatting between themselves as you would be murmuring between each other in your seats and that is considered impolite, but the remote participants are chatting amongst themselves and it is perfectly polite. And it helps the discussion move along sometimes. Do you have a comment?
>> They are chatting among themselves.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: You can also follow the panel and not just chat, online participants.
>> I'm not taking over from the Remote Moderator but I believe that Shauna wants to speak.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Do we have a participant or is this a private conversation with Dee?
>> No, I believe she wants to make a comment but on audio maybe?
>> GINGER PAQUE: You can unmute her ‑‑
>> Because if the participants want to they have the option to send a video or audio if they prefer. They can.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: It is fine if they can.
>> They can.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Put the participant on. Hello. Can we hear you?
>> Can you hear me?
>> GINGER PAQUE: Yes, we can. Please go ahead.
>> SHAUNA FINNEGAN: Perfect. Okay. Thanks. I had to leave the room and come back in in order for me to be able to here. My name is Shauna Finnegan. And I have been participating remotely for the past two IGFs. And I participated in the IGF in Bali and Baku in person. I have experience in both being there in person and remotely. Can you hear me?
>> GINGER PAQUE: Yes, we hear you perfectly.
>> SHAUNA FINNEGAN: Great. So I wanted to ‑‑ connected to the conversation you were having around we as remote participants can have chats while the session is going on while participants onsite cannot. In a way it connects to something that Ruth has been asking for since last year, this is one of the remote participants who is quite active, and she said there should be kind of a Tweet floor (cutting out) where the participants can (cutting out). And it still would be really good to have places where you can connect the onsite participants to the offsite participants while the session is going on, whether it is a chat room because people onsite I can see have laptops in front of them. So it might be ‑‑ but plenty of people I am sure having conversations on their laptops while the panel is going on. So why not open the stage where we can all chat together around the panel. And perhaps that would be an input to the panel if the panel is going too long or going off topic or there is a burning question to change the direction of the conversation. And there is kind of a way to bring that together without interrupting the flow of the conversation.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you very much, Shauna. That's a very interesting concept. Very often while we are in the room we join the WebEx platform so we can take part in the chats. We have a Skype group chat open, for instance, in meetings when there are multi‑stakeholder groups. Civil Society may have a Skype window open to organize their strategy and their interventions. I'm sure business does it as well. And I don't know, you know, about all of the stakeholder groups but several groups do join in a Skype to coordinate their interventions and other kinds of chat. Now and sometimes those include on and off in situ and online participants. So a Skype group often does that in parallel, for instance, with the WebEx we are using today. That's a very interesting point. Yeah.
>> So Shauna just while you are speaking about it what clearly came to mind is Twitter feed, right? So when you have a Twitter feed for the session or for the event, you can clearly also follow the discussions that are ‑‑ and even those as you were saying on the format, content on different trends. So I would also say to aggregate some events do show also the Twitter feed on the screens. So that's an interesting point. Thank you.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: I am playing devil's advocate. Does all of that actually take our attention away from the session? Because how many parallel channels can we actually follow? Anyone?
>> Honestly, can I ‑‑ okay.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Yeah, Raquel, you can say.
>> I can say I am in the workshop ‑‑ for me when I am following a workshop and the Twitter trend sometimes it is like talking to a person next to you that you don't even know. You miss a point or you didn't see a dimension. Or I'm ‑‑ I mean it helps at least for my directions.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: The older generation, Dierdre.
>> DIERDRE WILLIAMS: The older generation is talking to them on WebEx at the moment while I am listening to you. I am not doing such a good job of reporting perhaps but certainly it is possible to do both at once.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Arsene.
>> ARSENE TUNGALI BAGUMA: Arsene speaking. I would say it is probably ‑‑ for me I'm more or less using my Twitter. I am on my Twitter feeds. For instance, in this session when there is a specific hashtag for that prioritization I am always following the trends on ‑‑ for that particular hashtag because I want to hear people in the room what do they think about the things that have been said by the panel or anyone else who is making any comments. So whenever, sometimes I didn't get something clearly from the panelists someone may have made comments on Twitter and that helps me to understand to make my own points, my own opinion about something that has been said by the panel.
>> If I may, it keeps me engaged because it is just so long you can look up front and listen. When you get other comments from other people it keeps you engaged and gives you sometimes another perspective and it raises questions that you are mesmerized by what is happening in front and then somebody who is not there and not under that kind of spell comes with a different question, a different perspective and it just opens up your views even broader than they already are.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: So raise that question, is because now I just came from the session moderating the Net Neutrality session and we had two queues of people. We had the online participation and we had Twitter. It is hard for Moderators to follow. We have to sync ‑‑ it kind of synchronizes different parts of moderation to be able to make sure we include everyone and it makes sense somehow.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Do we have a remote participant?
>> REMOTE MODERATOR: Thanks. We have actually a few comments from Ruth. The first comment she said was that one problem is that their comments on the chat, on the panel are seen as talking amongst themselves and are not fed in. Later she made another comment that said that she finds the Twitter wall in the room less distracting and more unifying than everyone being on different channels.
>> GINGER PAQUE: If I might address that, one problem as a Remote Moderator we keep chatting during the presentation which are very good for the points that Arsene and others have brought up, but we can only open the comments to the floor when the Moderator opens the floor for comments. And then very often that chat that's been going on it is not clear what should be read in and when. So when we are working remotely we need to make it very clear I would like this comment to be read when the floor is opened and clarify what is the chat and what isn't. That point one way to bring that chat in to ‑‑ for Ruth's point in to the room and to let others share what they are saying is to project not a Twitter wall but the chat itself. We are projecting the remote comments and the comments of the people in the room. Is this going to distract from the speaker? What do you think?
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Introduce yourself.
>> ALEX GAKURU: My name an Alex Gakuru from CODE‑IP Trust in Kenya. Yeah, in a sense it is going to distract but like we are also saying we want to, to be injected in to what we are doing. But I want to introduce yet another dimension. When you are chatting it would be a chat meant for the person next to you or the other. Now when you put it on the big screen to beam to the whole world are we also going to raise in to issues of something being out of context? Not privacy but out of context? Because it is a comment you are making to a friend then it has now been made and announced to the whole world. And you say that you don't think that Vlad is speaking loud enough. And the next minute it is a complaint. You know what I am saying? Yeah.
>> GINGER PAQUE: What do you suggest then? We need to be very clear what is a public comment and what is a private chat and what ‑‑ if we are going project it they need to know very clearly that we are projecting it.
>> ALEX GAKURU: Maybe I would go a step further if there is a possibility of flagging something through the technologist to say this is a comment intended whenever it comes through but it had been flagged it meant to be input or read. Whether it is coming when the presentation is going on, at the end they can be looked at in that regard. That sort of mitigates against that regardless of the platform. So it saves putting everything up, but it is what is intended for that. It is not missed out.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: I'm thinking whether we should maybe cut this discussion in order to continue it later just for the sake of provoking diverse views in the form of debate. Because I think ‑‑ and I know that I have been preparing well for this and I hope you will be able to better reflect on the issues. So for the next some 20 or something minutes we will do the following thing. We are going in to a modified Oxford debate where we have two teams, two ladies on my left and a mixed team on my right. They will reflect on the following motion, and the motion says as a general rule excluding closed meetings or special circumstances online participants should have equal footing with in situ participants with open conferences and meetings.
On my right we have Raquel Gatto from ISOC and we have Angelic Alihusain‑del Castilho from the Suriname Government. The two of them will try to fight in favor of this motion. To my right I have Ginger Paque from Diplo and Slobodan Markovic from Serbian Government ccTLD who will try to combat against it. I am sure it is going to be quiet an interesting debate.
We will have three minutes of each team with setting inputs. And then we are going to have two minutes by each team to rebuff. And then we are going to ask participants over there and online to give them questions. And then we will have ‑‑ after that we want you to vote who you think won the debate based explicitly on the arguments they raised.
So that's the point. Not the people if you look at them or not. I will read once again the motion and then I think we can start. So the motion is as a general rule excluding closed meetings or special circumstances online participants should have equal footing with in situ participants in open conferences and meetings. Ladies, the floor is yours.
>> ANGELIC ALIHUSAIN‑DEL CASTILHO: Thank you, Vlad. First we are really glad we have the whole principles on our side. So we are in the favored team. While looking to this what we first stated was what is the potential differences between being online participants and being in situ participants. We gathered a couple of them. For example, the visibility. We can see each other. We can have this face‑to‑ face interaction. And also we can easily raise or hands and make comments. So I think taking those two in to account, what do we look for to defend in favor is for a few interactions it needs to break some barriers and you need to be more inclusive. And you do need to consider change of culture while you are leading sessions, while you are preparing the event itself and in a defense. So you want to raise something ‑‑
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Okay. Yes, I think what we are saying actually as we are standing at the gate every morning in the sun waiting to enter there are people sitting in the virtual gate waiting for us to start. Knowing the challenges we face as a community globally and in our countries we need everyone at the table. And when we say that we have to mean it. And when we mean it that means that their voice, their participation needs to have the same quality, the same possibilities that we have who are here. That means if that they have to be available, they have to be able to speak, to be heard, to talk, to react to anything we say here. The only thing they will miss is the chocolate cookies, but we miss the fact that they can get up and get anything they wish.
If we mean it we are wanting developing to come here, the ones who are in the situation where they have to fight for access and once they have access they need to make good use of it. If we mean that, then we have to give them the same place, the same rights, the same possibilities as those of us who are fortunate enough to be here.
>> ANGELIC ALIHUSAIN‑DEL CASTILHO: And so ‑‑ okay. So I'm losing my half minute. If there is a will there is a way. So don't come with technology issues, with being ‑‑ with costs. All of this we can tackle. We can follow. We can find technology. We follow and we will increase. We do have now the video, the Twitter and now the chats that we are talking about. So just consider why we are talking about equal footing. If we mean it, we can do it.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thank you. Sharp, on time. Okay. The floor to the other side. Your three minutes starts now.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: The floor to the other side. Your three minutes starts now.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you very much. When you think online, what's the second word that comes in to your mind? Think of a 16, 15‑year‑old and the majority of the people who are online. The next word is going to be gaming. So online gaming is the quintessential, that is what we are thinking of when we ‑‑ online gaming is online. It is what pushed and moved and unfortunately I don't think you can see this, but when they just had the online gaming championships in Berlin last week for League of Legends they did it in person. They had online gaming championships in a stadium with 70,000 viewers in person. They put up their screens. They had the players in the middle of the room. And they had everyone there cheering them on. A massive stadium watching the online gaming. Now if that's not a clear and positive indication that we are not virtual people, we are real, in person people, we want to be virtual people.
Online education, you need to be in a classroom. Webinars are designed for that. We are talking about changing a structure of a meeting. I went two days in an airplane. I had to find people to take my place at home. I made big sacrifices to be here. And I should have priority to cover my expenses. I worked hard. I'm ‑‑ I'm dealing with people who are breaking the system. Before we had these online transcripts we could negotiate openly. We could talk. We could say what we thought. This is what I think we could brainstorm. And now we have these transcripts that are searchable. So things can be taken out of context and thrown in my face. It has totally changed the concept of negotiation and my ability to express my opinion freely in a meeting. So ‑‑
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: 30 seconds.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Your turn.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: 30 seconds.
>> SLOBODAN MARKOVIC: Okay. So I have to make a very short disclaimer. Now I am a MAG member and Ginger is also and have participated over the course of this year in putting together the program of this wonderful event. But I also like to get my hands dirty. So I have a ‑‑ for the past three days I have been supporting remote participation in the main session hall right across this room. And I have also been dealing with remote participation in many other events. So my observations are based on real experiences.
Now it is obvious that being against remote participation is not my natural position but I have to do it. Vlad made me do it. So please take the following with a grain of salt. So okay, so Vlad, you can start the counter. So point No. 1, session organizers take remote participation only as an afterthought. They don't work it out including the remote participation in to the debate. So ‑‑ and also the Chair forgets to check if someone is actually on the remote participation queue. Even worse designated Remote Moderators sometimes don't even show up. So when the Chair recognizes there is a remote participation queued discussion is often moved on making the interventions significantly less relevant. And also event organizers take remote participation as an afterthought.
In closing remote participation if it is not integrated properly it just doesn't make sense. So let us not fool anyone that we are including anyone on an equal footing.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thank you. Okay. We go for two minutes rounds for each team to rebuff and then you folks get ready for some nice questions. Okay. Your two minutes starts.
>> ANGELIC ALIHUSAIN‑DEL CASTILHO: Okay. Thank you. So I must disagree with the ‑‑ with Ginger first because it is not the case which is very interesting. It is not about the physical presence but being a person and being fully wanting to be fully integrated in to the activity and in to the society. And we must remember like we are building this here for a people centered Information Society. And that's all about having online or offline. It is about the interaction and the power and the action for a Democratic and just unfair debate and about the ‑‑ here ya go ‑‑
(Portion of audio lost due to Internet disruption)
>> ANGELIC ALIHUSAIN‑DEL CASTILHO: If you go have a try to participate remotely here, we have to do the same form and we do receive an e‑mail that will allow us to join. So we do have also the security check. We have the Remote Moderators, which are kind of the security guys around as if we were here. So on the security issues, the online participation has its own way but it is there. The concept is there. And it is pretty much the same ‑‑ the guidelines are the same.
So on the meet and greet, just ‑‑ just to defend my team, did you meet someone here that you never saw? How are you going to follow up with them? Are you meeting them every day? Are you following them online? So here you go. So the interaction is works both way. On the meaningful participation for the team you said it all. You were in favor. So I don't need to defend it.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Yes, if it comes to the meaningful, that's why we say that everyone needs to participate, even the ones that are not here. That they have to have the same opportunities because they may just walk around with that one idea that will solve the biggest problem we have been carrying for so some long. And if you don't allow them to deliberate with us then how are you going to get that solution from them. And I totally agree with you. The more we allow them to do that the more they will participate and the broader pool of resources and solutions will be.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Okay. Two more minutes for your team.
>> SLOBODAN MARKOVIC: Just wanted to take this question regarding the participation and deliberations. I mean, you know, in order to have a meaningful debate we, of course, must have informed participants. And there are two sides to this issue. My point of view the first one is transparency. This is why my meetings are open Webcast and transcribed, but this matter of behavior is an exception. For instance, only a few Governments offer such kind of transparency, funny. And the second part is careful issue analysis and argument building and assessment and education and that is also a thing which is rarely seen in practice. So if we don't have these things, it is only, you know, a matter of opinion battle. It is not an argumentative debate. It is not enough to say we should have more inclusion in deliberations. We need to ensure that it is meaningful.
>> GINGER PAQUE: I will quickly answer your question. Thank you, Raquel, for your points. I think they are very valuable but unfortunately wrong. Because I wish it were true, but when you walk in the door and you go through security, they are looking at you. They know who you are and they check who you are indeed you said you were and they check your identification. Online we have no idea who they are. We don't know what they are going to do. We have absolutely no way of verifying what and who they are. Perhaps that's good. We should have online anonymity, but I'm sorry, if you think about it you will realize that it is simply not true.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Okay. Thanks. So should we try to vote somehow? It is up to ‑‑ we do have back our remote participants. Unfortunately the online participants, you missed the very interesting part because the whole ‑‑ yeah.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Okay. Let me just try to see how this ‑‑ how I turn this off. This is complicated I guess more than I thought. Let me just see. Stop it. So there was a problem with the Internet in the whole venue. That is the issue on it happened in the middle of the debate which helped the debate grow. Maybe before ‑‑ since we have participants back, is there any comment or question from the online participants?
>> REMOTE MODERATOR: Thank you, Chair. Yes, we have one comment. We have one comment from Ruth Hennell. And she says that we ‑‑ we have to fill out a form with quite a lot of information about accessing WebEx.
>> That's what I said.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Okay. Before we go in to that discussion, so on one hand we had to my left we had the team that was in favor of a motion saying as a general rule excluding closed meetings and special circumstances online participants should have equal footing with in situ participants in open conferences and meeting. And to the right we had a team that was against this motion. Now I want to see including the online participants if you feel like voting, if you think you have heard enough. I don't know because of the interruptions. How many of those think that the team in favor was better this time with the arguments? Raise your hand. Is there any comment from the online participants? Anyone voting?
>> REMOTE MODERATOR: Before Ruth said that they have to fill out a lot of information about themselves, and then Jorg says they only need to fill out last name and first name and e‑mail address and all the other information can be left blank.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: But still no one is voting. The question was who votes for the team who was in favor of the motion. The arguments, yeah, yeah, the arguments. One. Yeah ‑‑ well, in the room, yeah. In the room, yeah, yeah. In the room. In the room. So for this team, for the arguments of this team, two. Who votes for the arguments of the team that was against? Two, two. Abstained.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Okay. So we have ‑‑ so we have a ‑‑
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: He was waiting to see how it will go. Okay. That shows that we still have to work a lot on that. But I think we can actually open up the ‑‑ we have another maybe ten minutes of discussion. Based on this, of course, I encourage you to come up with the comments on any kind of reflection on the debate itself and the arguments. But also how do we go ahead. If we have this set of principles, which I find it quite good, it can be improved, of course, always how do we put in power? Should we ask the Distinguished Colleagues from MAG to somehow push it or should we distribute it further? Or how do we effectively put it in power? And also how do we secure the funding for better e‑participation, remote participation for the IGF? That means training, capacity building, facilities, what you mentioned at the beginning going beyond. Any reflections? I will start with you and then go back to the panelists and debaters. Since the transcribers are back now you can introduce yourselves.
>> DIERDRE WILLIAMS: Dierdre Williams. I have done this online and you left out a question of the how do you make sure it doesn't break down. Because if you are online and it suddenly disappears it is absolutely dreadful.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thanks. Any one of you? Any reflections on the arguments also? It is a good time now. No, no, I mean the debate and the arguments of the debate.
>> Yes, I think it is a follow‑up to what she is saying and a way of supporting the team that I was accusing here. One of the things that could be done is that sometimes it is better to have it a bit even ‑‑ even if it is a bit late than never to have it at all. A flicker of connectivity on the side of the recipient or on the side of where it is happening or in transit of the server means that you have lost that session, and nothing is going to repeat that. The session should have a parallel recording. We need to have sort of a backup, a camera just rolling and in the event that somebody needs to play back that recording then that can be used as a backup and that can mitigate the accusations that I was framing. It has something that someone can access a bit later but not miss out.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Practical question, the servers that are hosing WebEx are here in the venue. If they are here that means that even the room would be closed, the online room would be closed. And they couldn't continue chatting among themselves.
>> SLOBODAN MARKOVIC: No, it is a cloud service. It is a cloud service. So ‑‑
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: The room remained open.
>> SLOBODAN MARKOVIC: Yeah, the room remained open and they could chat between themselves.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: They had their own parallel session and we had our own parallel session. Any one of you want to reflect on the debate or how we go ahead?
>> SLOBODAN MARKOVIC: Well, you know, the Internet and the computing is not a reliable thing. I mean it is electronic. They need breaks and that's why we have redundant connections. That's why we have storages. That's why we have all other means of, you know, having data backed up and redundant and, you know, readily available in case of ‑‑ in case of disasters. And we do it because this is important to us. This data is important to us. That's why we do it. So I guess the same thing goes with remote participation. I mean we have to ensure that it is built in to our processes grounds up. And, you know, when one thing fails the other is going to take over. If we really want it, you know, and I think that we should have this kind of support to remote participation because these days it is really less and less important where do you live physically. You can work for a living, you know, in such a distant place from the civilization using the Internet. So I mean why not use the same technology for remote participation if the President of the United States can stay in touch with his generals using remote participation for which they paid an enormous amount of money but it works and it is fail safe, then I think that we can do it as well. And we should.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: So where is the gap? Why don't we have it? Funding obviously, but is that the only problem or how do we get to more funding and more seriously taking this?
>> SLOBODAN MARKOVIC: The willingness and understanding, this is our fundamental need. It is a fundamental need for the Army general to be in direct connection with his supreme commander. So, you know, it is obvious and it seems natural when you look at it from that point of view. So ‑‑
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Raquel, you have been one person who was basically together with Ginger from the beginning of this remote participation Working Group. And this was, if I recall correctly, 2007 or something like that. So at least seven years ago. Did we ‑‑ I mean still okay, it is not about the room here. That's not full. I would hope not because of us but I would hope that a room should be more crowded when we talk about e‑participation, but my feeling also when I was back in MAG is that it was ‑‑ there was not enough seriously taking this issue as was some of them said, not enough willingness. Everyone is like yes, we need to do it, but then when we need to do it it ends up on a couple of hands full of people around helping to do their best to do something but that can't work. Any idea how can we move forward? How do we ‑‑
>> ANGELIC ALIHUSAIN‑DEL CASTILHO: Yes. So I think as you said we might tend to agree on having on the principles, right, on the importance of having remote participation. But the operational side how to do it is usually the lack of follow‑up. So just being very, very brief on my answer I think we need to showcase more the potential of the remote participation. This changing culture that I was saying for real in my ‑‑ in our debate is important. And showcasing the examples, we have here showcasings, all the other examples that we can have and making sure that we have the more distributed participation as possible is also important. So as we follow up it is a progressive work. It is not a one‑time deal. And so we've learned also since the beginning we were learning each IGF we learn a piece, right? We learn the importance of the Remote Moderator and we learn the importance of the transcript and so on. So this is the ‑‑ this is the building case and showcasing that is an evolution. And it is bringing results also is important.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Adding to that is what you said kind of not wasting the crises, when we have these glitches like what happened today we should probably use it and say look how this looks like when there is no e‑participation. That doesn't mean we should put down the system for that.
>> ANGELIC ALIHUSAIN‑DEL CASTILHO: Like we miss someone. It is like we miss someone in the room.
>> SLOBODAN MARKOVIC: If I may interrupt because it is related to MAG and the IGF, I mean it is really in most cases not the case that, you know, they don't want their ‑‑ they are not interested. But more the case of, you know, they have a 3 million other things which are more pressing to have this event happen at all on their minds, but if the IGF was better funded and better supported I'm sure that, you know, remote participation would be better as well.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Dierdre.
>> DIERDRE WILLIAMS: Dierdre Williams. It seems to me when you are not here you have a disability. Your disability is not being here. When you are here, your disability disappears and for many people they forget about it because this is a very, very busy four days. I think perhaps it is only if you are intimately aware of the periods at which you have this disability that you want to push not to have it on another occasion. And if I may make the parallel, the attendance of people with a physical disability at this meeting is inclined to fall in to the same sort of space if you ‑‑ if you are not in a wheelchair, you forget that maybe you need a special accommodation in the bathroom or something because you are not in a wheelchair. So if you are at IGF you don't need remote participation.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Yep.
>> So ‑‑ oh.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Should we go first for the online participant and then we go.
>> REMOTE MODERATOR: Yes, we have Shauna. She wants to make a comment through audio.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Sure.
>> SHAUNA FINNEGAN: Can you hear me?
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Yes.
>> SHAUNA FINNEGAN: Okay. So I wanted to agree with what Dierdre just said. When you are there in person, when you are onsite it is not obvious to you necessarily that there are remote participants or how many there are. That does go back to the point that Ruth had about the IGF having a tweet wall. It should be obvious to you right away oh, we are disconnected from the Internet. The remote participants can't connect and as was said earlier I mean we are still connected to the WebEx when we were disconnected but we can have that conversation, but that conversation was on Twitter on a tweet wall, and I mean if you have connectivity maybe you can see that in the room. Just to have a sense that someone is missing.
As Dierdre said it is a disability in we don't have a corporal presence in the room. You can't see us put up our hand. We have to wait until somebody who is in the room notices and then they put up that hand for us. You can't see if we are getting bored or if we would really like to talk about something more. We are really limited in that way. I do think having us in the same space as much as possible, by having something projected up on the wall is where you get close to having equal footing. You get anywhere close to sort of making it feel like we are actually part of a conversation. And I think connected to that is also the looking at different workshop formats that aren't so much a panel at the front of the room. If there are discussion questions for the workshop, which there often are, they are being discussed among the participants while the workshop is going. If we disconnect we can input to the conversation. Maybe we discuss them on Twitter and then we input them again, too. So I think there are ways to include us better.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thanks a lot. Very valuable. Okay. We are coming close to the end. So one final comment and then brief reflections.
>> My name is John Joel from the Youth Program. I'd like to comment about a situation we have in Brazil about participation in general. For example, in my city we have a very famous participatory budgeting. We have had digital participatory budgeting since 2006. And we had an amazing start with 172,000 people voting and participating online. That's almost 10% of the whole voters of my city. And from 2006 to 2013 we had the following numbers, 124,000, and then 25,000 in the last year. In 2013 we had 4,000. So more than 98%. So in this year ‑‑ it happens every two years. So it was supposed to be in December. And we have no news about if it is going to happen or not. So we have a lot of problems with that because the younger generation always ‑‑ so the younger generation and Brazil have a situation, that before 20 years ago or so we didn't have these spaces. These spaces were created, but now we have the spaces but they are not very attractive to the youth. They are not very fast. There are a lot of progress, and most of the times it takes a long time to deliberative process especially online becomes an action. So we have a lot of challenges not only my city, of course, everywhere to make this more appealing and make it more effective.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thanks. We are about to finish. Before that maybe last reflection from your side and then Ginger conclude.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Okay. Yes. Let me say it was, of course, a pleasure to do this and it was fun to be on the side that I am actually on. It is obviously easier, but I have to say, you know, in order to get this to really work as it was already said you need really a mind shift. You need on both sides organizers who need to realize that this is a valuable contribution that these people make. And on the side of the participant can participate. I can share in my country many young people they don't know how to participate online. Because I did some sessions and I asked them to participate online and some of them had a problem to connect. They didn't know how to connect. And that gives them a certain fear because it is unknown. They feel like they are not in control. They don't know what's going to happen. So even though they have access and tools you still are at the very, very bottom of getting them used and accustomed and comfortable with doing it. And I think we ‑‑ I am totally for this but we need to start at the bottom and make sure that people feel comfortable doing it so that they start demanding also to participate in that way so they realize they can make a contribution even if they are not present here. It saves money for Governments. You don't need to travel all the time. You can do it online. Our Governments, they are not in favor of doing things online. They say they have to be there in person. You know, even though you know they can do it. I mean negotiations, you have to be there. I still believe for negotiations sit across from each other because everything speaks. But like conference like this it is not a negotiation. You can do things online. But they have different reasons why they prefer flying. But ‑‑
>> RAQUEL GATTO: But when it comes to us the people who need these experiences to grow and solve our problems to develop, we need to build the capacity in our young people, in our older people, in everyone. So the organizations will make the change in the mind shift in order to provide this.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thanks, Raquel. Angelic.
>> ANGELIC ALIHUSAIN‑DEL CASTILHO: I want to thank the other team Ginger and Slobodan and it was really funny. You did a great job. So this is the message. And so ‑‑ and just to give a final message that we should also have ambitious thoughts as we are talking here on remote participation and beyond IGF and beyond events itself for more Democratic channels of e‑participation. We also should think that it is not only physical events that we need to bring online participants but also on the ‑‑ we could shift the center to an online event or online participation and then include the physical one. So we need to be ambitious and also think both ways and shift centers.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thanks. Ginger, how do we go ahead?
>> GINGER PAQUE: Well, I think that Slobodan, he had a wonderful example of putting words in to action. And I know he is going to solve and take back to the MAG with me to move this forward and the things that we have learned from you are excellent. We will take them all in to account. So we don't need to elaborate on that, but we'll do it online. And I just want to quickly agree with several of you that it is not about the technology anymore. It is about the willingness and planning. It is not sabotage as you proposed. It is about apathy and not caring enough and you not doing it.
You brought up the cost. One of the points that I would have brought up it is simply not cost effective because to ‑‑ what kind of infrastructure we will require to have a few online participants. Cost effective per person, although the cost per person to be here is not cheap. It is cost effective in concept and inclusion. So we just need to do our planning. And I lastly would like to congratulate the real winning team which I think is these two guys who gave their great provacative questions to us. So thank you.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thank you. Dierdre, you did the report. Do you want to use a minute just to maybe extract a couple of key words and key messages? I think the report will go online, but do you feel comfortable doing that now or ‑‑
>> DIERDRE WILLIAMS: Not very. I will try.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Okay. So should we leave it then for the online report? I have tell you that there is also another step that we are doing which is the Geneva engaged conference about the e‑participation in December in Geneva, but it is helping Geneva institutions to open up for e‑participation to everyone in Geneva to participate in that.
>> DIERDRE WILLIAMS: There was a problem for remote participants. One of them would like to talk further with somebody in the room and we solved the problem.
>> Someone asked to talk to me and we solved the problem. They handed me the laptop and it was correct. So cheers, Ruth.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thank you for coming. I enjoyed it immensely. That's probably one of the greatest workshops that I was on this IGF. Thank you all for coming and also the online participants and see you around. Thank you guys.