June 2013 Update
June 10, 2013
With summer just around the corner, the USTTI's second trimester is well on its way. Our inbox has been busy as we have now received 8,960 applications from ICT officials and entrepreneurs in 119 countries. With the first trimester completed, the USTTI welcomes 73 more graduates to our ever-growing alumni network that boasts 8,833 empowered women and men from 171 developing countries.
USTTI Board Member Blog
In order for USTTI graduates and applicants to benefit directly from members of the USTTI Board, we have added our Board Member Blog feature to allow our alumni to read the views of individual board members on subjects that are important in the global ICT marketplace. The forum is intended to provide a valuable new source of information for USTTI graduates to consider as they work to achieve increased, affordable ICT access for your fellow country- men and women.
This month's Board Member Blog is written by Lynn St.Amour, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Internet Society (ISOC).
Smart Internet Development
For more than two decades, the Internet Society has worked with technologists, policymakers, civil society, and innovators around the globe to expand the Internet globally. As a non-governmental organisation, some key aspects of our mission are to help facilitate the development of a reliable and ubiquitous Internet around the world, to build the human capacity needed to sustain it, and to encourage open dialogue about key Internet issues.
A thriving Internet ecosystem doesn't just emerge once infrastructure has been laid or routers and switches have been turned on. The Internet Society has identified a number of common characteristics shared by successful Internet development efforts. We found the programs that deliver the greatest benefit to users tend to be holistic, collaborative and interactive, focusing as much on people as they do on technology.
We call this holistic approach "Smart Internet Development" - and see it as a path to a truly connected and empowered world. A Smart Internet Development approach focuses on nurturing and building three foundational pillars: human infrastructure, physical infrastructure, and governance infrastructure.
* Human infrastructure, in the form of individuals empowered by the best local and global knowledge to make informed choices about reaching, building, growing, and sustaining the Internet; and
* Technical infrastructure, as seen, for example, in the growth of wireless and fiber networks rapidly helping to connect the unconnected, with success stories from the implementation of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in places as diverse as Zambia, Brazil, and Vanuatu; and
* Governance infrastructure, which includes implementing multi-stakeholder governance mechanisms for meaningful policy choices, and to spur investment, deployment and public engagement.
The Internet's power as an open platform for economic and human development can only truly be unleashed when Internet development addresses all three components.
The human infrastructure component is the easiest for some to overlook, but it is the most critical in determining the success or failure of a development effort. For development to become sustainable, it must draw on a local community of technologists, innovators and early-adopters who can build, maintain and ultimately grow and sustain networks to their full potential.
We have found that everywhere the Internet has flourished, it has done so thanks to the existence of a robust set of engineers, technicians, users, and policymakers who not only ensure the network keeps running, but also create the necessary tools, forums and services.
Creating local demand depends on a reliable local infrastructure. From our experience, we know that Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) are at the center of the most robust and reliable Internet ecosystems, and are a key part in driving local content.
IXPs at the most basic level are switches, routers, and servers that allow local IP-based network providers (e.g., Internet service providers, national research and engineering networks, government networks, and mobile networks) to interconnect with each other and exchange traffic. In other words, network providers in a single country can share data traffic directly, instead of connecting through an exchange point in a foreign country. IXPs keep local traffic local. This means that any country that establishes an IXP, or improves an existing network of IXPs, should have faster and lower-cost Internet service. It also facilitates more of the population coming online, and enables more investment from mobile operators, content companies and other network service providers.
The great thing about IXPs is that all this can start from a pretty modest technical base. IXPs don't have to be elaborate to get going. The London Internet Exchange, to take one example, began in 1994 with a single donated piece of networking equipment and five local Internet Services Providers as members. Today, they have 400 members and are one of the biggest IXPs in the world.
The Internet Society and other organizations around the world (e.g., Euro-IX, the African Union, LAC-IX) can help countries obtain equipment. The really important part is what comes next. At the Internet Society, we have seen plenty of countries plan to implement an IXP-including picking a location and accepting shipment of equipment-only to have the process stall.
When things like this happen, it's a reminder that the technical infrastructure-wires, routers, and switches-is only one part of Smart Internet Development, and not the most important. It cannot stand on its own.
The third component is figuring out the right approach to governance. For ministries and regulators, this usually means resisting the temptation to regulate too tightly, and allowing experts from the technical and private sectors to manage much of the development. For many officials, giving up control in this way is difficult. For IXP managers, it can mean creating a multi-stakeholder board to oversee the technical management and business.
If there is one shared theme across all the components of Smart Internet Development - technical, human and governance infrastructure - it's that small-scale efforts can yield massive dividends. We have seen the impact an IXP can make on a local community: faster traffic delivery, better quality of service, lower costs, and greater uptake by users. Smart Internet Development is as much about developing and cultivating the resources already at hand as it is about creating new ones.
At the Internet Society, we're proud to have been part of the last 20 years of Internet development and honored to be a member of USTTI's Board of Trustees. We strongly believe in the USTTI and commend the excellent work it has done - to educate and build the networks of experts that are at the heart of the platforms that have enabled some of the most powerful revolutions in human expression and development.
Lynn St. Amour is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society.
About the Internet Society
The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone. For more information, visit www.internetsociety.org.
Call for Applications
The USTTI's first trimester of the 2013 training year is in the books and our second trimester is in full swing but we are still receiving applications for all of our third trimester courses. Be sure to consult our website, www.ustt.org, for a full list of third trimester course offerings. When completing your application, please pay particular attention to the "Applicant Training Goals" and "Experience" sections. We encourage you to apply online as soon as possible to make certain your applications are received in time to be evaluated.
If you are selected for training, you will be notified by a Curriculum Coordinator from the USTTI via email. We look forward to hearing from you all.
USTTI Alumni Updates
Michael Ocero (Uganda) 2013 Alumnus: Mr. Ocero played a critical on the government of Uganda's recently approved the National electronic Waste (e-Waste) Management Policy. The e-Waste policy embodies comprehensive and integrated strategies for the safe disposal of various types of electronic equipment that are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. Some of the objectives of the policy are:
1. To provide for establishment of E-waste handling facilities in the country;
2. To mobilize and sensitize the Government, private sector and the community on the proper management and handling of E-waste on a sustainable basis;
3. To provide for the putting in place of specific E-waste standards, regulations and guidelines for the acquisition, handling and disposal processes;
4. To develop a critical human resource base knowledgeable in E-waste management;
5. To provide for resource mobilization for efficient management and disposal of E-waste; and
6. To establish incentives for encouraging both local and foreign investors to establish E-waste management facilities in Uganda.
The Mandate of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the implementation of the e-waste policy are:
1. Take the lead in E-waste awareness programs.
2. Develop an all-encompassing strategic plan for implementing the E-waste policy, detailing the costs, time frames, targets, outputs and outcomes.
3. Coordinate the development of regulations, standards, guidelines and quality assurance as concerns E-waste.
4. Supervise, guide and provide technical support to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government s as well as undertake monitoring and evaluation.
Mr. Ocero's role as Principal I.T officer encompasses the above main focus areas of the Ministry of I.C.T, and is in line with that mandate. Mr. Ocero leads a team that embarked on a sensitization program to create awareness and enable different stakeholders to have a better, well-managed way of handling e-Waste. Islamic University In Uganda - Mbale campus was identified as one of the academic agencies in the planned dissemination activities. The team facilitated the awareness and dissemination workshop at the university on May 22, 2013. This activity is one of several planned dissemination activities by the Ministry of ICT on the e-Waste policy.
Edward Kwame Yankson (Sierra Leone) 2012 Alumnus: Mr. Yankson was recently promoted to the position of Deputy Secretary of the Civil Service in Sierra Leone.
Congratulations to our alumni for their recent successes. Please continue to keep us updated on how USTTI's tuition-free training helped your career progress by sending any career updates to USTTI Curriculum Coordinator, Liam Quinn, at firstname.lastname@example.org
USTTI 2.0: Online Cybersecurity Course UPDATE
In 2011, USTTI launched USTTI 2.0 as a way to offer web-based training on the topic of Cybersecurity. USTTI 2.0 incorporates an 8-hour self-guided Cybersecurity course, as well as interactive web-based forums for USTTI 2.0 users. Initial participation and feedback regarding the USTTI 2.0 community and online Cybersecurity course has been very positive.
In order to enhance the USTTI 2.0 experience, we are in the process of transferring the hosting location of USTTI 2.0. Unfortunately, due to this hosting transfer, the USTTI 2.0 online community and web-based Cybersecurity course are temporarily unavailable. We hope to have this transfer completed in the near term, at which time current USTTI 2.0 users will be able to continue their existing participation in the online community. We apologize for this temporary unavailability of USTT 2.0. Continue to monitor the USTTI website for further announcements regarding USTTI 2.0 availability.
East Africa Regional Analog to Digital Television Migration Workshop
The USTTI conducted an East African Regional Analog to Digital Television Migration Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya from May 21 - 23, 2012. This three-day workshop, offered in conjunction with the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), assembled officials from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to discuss the issues and challenges associated with planning and implementing a successful digital migration.
On May 24, 2013, USTTI, AMI and the FCC conducted a two-hour videoconference with 20 individuals from the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) to discuss their progress implementing the digital migration in Kenya. Cisco Systems, Inc., a dedicated member of the USTTI Board of Directors, generously provided the use of its TelePresence facilities in Washington, DC and Nairobi, Kenya for the videoconference.