Internet Society hosts Internet Governance Day in Guyana

The Internet Society successfully hosted an Internet Governance Day as part of the series of ongoing Internet Week Guyana events being held in Georgetown from October 9 to 13. 

Shernon Osepa, Manager of Regional Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society, outlined a broad spectrum of components of the global Internet Governance ecosystem, describing not only the technical elements but also legal, economic, sociocultural, human rights aspects. 

Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration at the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), gave some insight into the history of the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and outlined the IGF's role in the multi-stakeholder approach to decision-making.

Osepa returned to the microphone to discuss the Internet of Things, showing the potential of these interconnected devices to enhance human productivity but also cause cybersecurity challenges, such as privacy and regulatory complications.

Nancy Quiros, Internet Society Chapter Development Manager for Latin America and Caribbean Region, discussed the important role played by local chapters in the development of national policy.

Lenanadlar Singh, a member of the newly launched Internet Society Guyana Chapter, shared some practical tips on getting involved with Internet Society local chapters. Osepa outlined the work being done by a number of Internet Society chapters in the region (Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Panama, Puerto Rico, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad) which are involved in the Community Networks project. Malisa Richards, a Board member of the Internet Society Guyana Chapter, shared some information on the Community Network project being undertaken by that Chapter.

Bevil Wooding, Co-Founder of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) and Caribbean Outreach Manager for the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), moderated a lively and interactive panel discussion on Network Neutrality. Panelists were Lance Hinds, ICT Advisor to the Guyana Minister of Public Telecommunications; Valmikki Singh, National Frequency Management Unit; Gregory Dean, Digicel; and Lester Garcia, Facebook. Panelists discussed the implications of net neutrality policies in countries like Guyana, and agreed that concerns of the regulatory and government bodies must be balanced against the interests of consumers and corporations.

The day’s final segment was a presentation by Julius Simon, a Guyanese digital entrepreneur, whose Innovative Systems team recently launched Julius demoed the Farmers Market mobile app and highlighted some of the practical ways in which it could change the way that farmers operate in the agribusiness sector. The app was the winning entry in a code sprint recently held by the Guyana Ministry of Public Telecommunications.

To complement the day's proceedings, Osepa and Quiros were on hand later that evening to formally launch the Internet Society Guyana Chapter. Lance Hinds, Special Advisor to the Guyana Minister of Public Telecommunications, is interim President of the chapter's executive team.

Internet Week Guyana is being held at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana and remote participation is available via online livestream.