Expert warns C’bean must strengthen its Internet infrastructure

An Internet expert has called for greater regional network resilience and security and is urging Caribbean countries to strengthen their critical Internet infrastructure if they are to defend against the growing threat of climate-change-driven natural disasters.

The expert, Bevil Wooding, is also urging regional countries to adopt the new strategies if they are to keep up with the world’s growing digital economy.

Wooding, the Caribbean outreach director at the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) said ‘in today’s world, the security, resilience and robustness of computers networks are critical to the development of the digital economy.

“The Caribbean can no longer afford to leave important decisions about network build out, network resource management and network infrastructure spend only to commercial telecommunications providers. Those issues are now the concern and the responsibility of governments, private network operators and even end users,” said Wooding, who works with the US-based non-profit organisation responsible for Internet number resource management.

Wooding, who is also the Strategic ICT Advisor for the St Lucia-based OECS Commission, told officials attending the 36th Executive Council meeting of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), that the regional regulator has established a special commission to identify “actionable recommendations for improving Caribbean network resilience”.

He also highlighted current efforts by regional and international non-profit organisations to address the issue, noting that the CTU, ARIN, the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), Packet Clearing House and others are already collaborating on initiatives “to develop greater awareness and technical capacity in computer network design, management and cybersecurity.”

OECS Director General, Dr Didacus Jules, said that the devastating impact of the 2017 hurricane season on several Caribbean territories has put a spotlight on the importance of strengthening the resilience of the region’s communications network and infrastructure.

“As a region, we must have a clear, strategic approach to building out Internet infrastructure to drive business innovation and economic development,” Jules said, warning that, the global economy will become increasingly unforgiving to regions with failing, outdated or unsecured technology infrastructure.

“If we do not act with urgency to address this, the impact on our economic and social development can be more devastating than last season’s hurricanes,” he added.

Source: JAMAICA OBSERVER



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