Business View Caribbean | March 2019

9 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN MARCH 2019 CarPIF REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY MEETING TO ADDRESS AFFORDABLE AND RESILIENT INTERNET ACCESS OPENING L INES T he Eastern Caribbean island of Grenada has been selected as the venue for the fifth regional meeting of the Caribbean Internet Peering and Interconnection Forum, CarPIF, set for June 12 to 13. The annual international event, which draws Internet giants like Facebook and Google to the region, is focused on developing the Internet in the Caribbean by improving policy and building relationships between network operators and content providers. The announcement was made by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) and the Internet Society, co-organizers of the yearly event that brings together policymakers, regulators, private sector leaders, and academics. “CarPIF plays a key role in bringing together different parties to form the relationships and agreements necessary to increase local traffic exchange across the region. This event presents an opportunity for Grenada and the region to showcase the steps being taken to accelerate Internet development in the Caribbean,” said Bevil Wooding, CaribNOG Executive Director and Co-founder of CarPIF. “In addition, the forum addresses the peculiar policy and regulatory challenges that have made internet connectivity, access, and affordability difficult in some Caribbean countries. Removing barriers to infrastructure development, content availability, and Internet traffic distribution can have a significant and positive impact on Internet growth in the Caribbean, along with the benefits of economic development and social empowerment that follow,” he added. Launched in Barbados in 2015, CarPIF promotes the development of Internet exchange points and of regional and international interconnections between Internet service providers, content delivery networks, and other content and network service providers. “We will be building on the momentum of past meetings where major international Internet companies like Google, Facebook and Akamai have participated alongside our regional and national internet service providers,” said Wooding, who also serves as the Caribbean Outreach Manager for the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN). By staging CarPIF in Grenada this year, the organizers hope to highlight how the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has been leading by example in the successful establishment of Internet exchange points in countries like Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “Increasing Caribbean interconnections requires collaboration and partnership among a diverse set of stakeholders,” said Brent McIntosh, the local event coordinator and Head of Regional IP Operations at Cable and Wireless. “Hosting CarPIF 2019 provides Grenada and the OECS with the opportunity to showcase local initiatives aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of Internet services in the region. This is important because improved Internet services facilitate greater social and economic development,” he said. The meeting is also significant because the forum celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2019. “From