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Unleashing the Internet: does the Caribbean have what it takes?

Last week, the Internet Society released what is likely to be a seminal report on the Internet in the Caribbean. Here, we introduce the report to our readers. The Internet is widely recognised as being a catalyst for economic growth and development, and Caribbean countries have been eager to embrace this platform to achieve those goals. Although many of our countries have implemented a broad range of telecoms and ICT-related policies and initiatives, to a considerable degree, there is still a sense that individual countries, and the region as a whole, have not yet reached the ‘tipping point’ as it relates to the internet, and by extension, realising digital societies. In a new report, Unleashing the Internet in the Caribbean: Removing Barriers to Connectivity and Stimulating Better Access in the Region, commissioned by the Internet Society, and launched last week, the state of the Internet in the Caribbean was examined. The report also highlights the main challenges being experienced in unleashing the Internet in the region, and recommendations are included on how to better manage those challenges and capitalise on the opportunities. The report is chock full with data, drawn from a broad range of sources, and reflects what was publicly available mid-2016. Regular readers of our Snapshot series, the information on Internet penetration, Internet affordability, along with upload and download speeds for select Caribbean countries; however, in this report offers more holistic view of the state of the Internet in the Caribbean, which cannot be captured in a 750 or 1000-word article. More  

We’ve been gaming the Internet so well, so are we losing interest ?

In the push for traffic, viral content and revenue, has our online experience been so manipulated the Internet losing its appeal? For many of us, and if we are prepared to admit it, we are becoming fatigued by the Internet. While this by no way means that we are cutting it out of our lives for good, to varying degrees, we might be suffering from overload, especially on our social networks. So much information is vying for our attention – video clips, chain posts, advertisements, to name a few – and in what limited time we have, we have to be ruthless about what we read and focus on. Consequently, one of the filters many of us apply to identify what content we should access, is authenticity: whether a content creator is sharing personal or first hand experiences, or material that genuinely enriches our lives. However, with all of the data and analytics available on online user behaviour, are we truly getting authentic content, or that which has been manufactured to appeal to our tastes and biases? Over the past month, that question reared its head in the United States, quite compellingly, in the case of Rachel Brewson. In summary, and in December 2015, Rachel Brewson authored two posts, which were first published on the website, ReviewWeekly.com, in which she shared the experience of falling in love with a man who supports the Republican party, whilst she is a Liberal Democrat. By the second article, which was published in March 2016, Rachel and

Should the Internet be a basic right now in the Caribbean, or in the future?

In light of recent statements on the Internet by a prominent Caribbean leader, we discuss reasons why the Internet should be made a basic right sooner rather than later. n an address to the Jamaica Employers Federation two weeks ago, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, was reported as saying that globally, it could be another 10 to 15 years before access to the Internet is considered a basic human right. He further noted, “this is so because transactions are going to be moved mainly towards a digital platform” (Source:  The Nation) During his speech, the Prime Minister highlighted a few situations in which government services and transactions in Jamaica were not being done digitally, and the need for the State to drive the requisite efforts to implement digital systems. However, while the Prime Minister’s sought to frame himself as being prepared to lead the charge, he seemed to be out of touch with the importance of the Internet, and the current state of play in the world today. Below, four key points are discussed. 1. We are already in the digital age, the Internet age From all reports on Mr. Holness’ speech, there is a sense that the digital age is still to come. However, the digital age began with the availability of personal computers in the 1970s. Since that time, the cost of computing  devices have decreases considerably, whilst their processing power and sophistication have increased exponentially. Hence today, individuals owning, or at the very least having access to a computing device

Caribbean needs to strengthen its Internet infrastructure

Internet Security expert Bill Woodcock speaks at a cyber security workshop at Grenada ICT Week, St Georges last week.Electronic security threats levels are on the rise globally, and the stakes are getting higher. Kaspersky Lab’s Global IT Risks Report (2014) estimated that, after a data breach, small and medium sized business could spend up to $22,000 on staffing, training, and systems. Larger enterprises could potentially spend up to an additional $59,000 on staffing, $35,000 on training, and $75,000 on systems, the report said. 9348

Snapshot: How affordable is Internet service in the Caribbean?

In an earlier post, we examined the amount spent on Internet service in the Caribbean. Now, in the last of our Snapshot series (for now), we look at the affordability of that service across the region. Access to and the availability of Internet service is becoming increasingly important as we transition to knowledge-based societies. However, it is important that the service is affordable to ensure that as many people as possible can comfortably bear the expense. This post aims to explore how affordable an Internet service plan with a common download speed is across the English-speaking Caribbean, and how the region might compare with more developed countries. More

News Flash: Jamaicans once again outnumber Trinidadians on Facebook

Just two days ago, I wrote What di a*s! more Trinidadians on Facebook than Jamaicans ?! when there were more Trinidadians on Facebook- 364,960 than Jamaicans – 363,380. Today, using the same method I spoke about in the other post I wrote Find out how many Jamaicans are on Facebook in 7 quick Steps Jamaicans have taken the lead with 369,640 compared to 368,500 Trinidadians. The Question is, how can Trinidad, a country with half the population of Jamaica be so neck and neck in numbers of people accessing Facebook? This question brought me to look at the Caribbean Internet Usage Stats by InternetWorldStats.com. Have a look yourself.

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