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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