IGF 2022 Day 2 WS #292 connectivity at the critical time: during and after crises – RAW

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Good morning, everyone.  I am the ISOC IGF global ambassador, and I'm also a tech public policy lawyer at access partnership, which is a global policy firm.

>>  Thank you very much, Ethan.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Go ahead and introduce yourself.

>>  Can you hear me?  Yes.  This is Shah.  I hope you can hear me.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I'm also a member of the Internet Governance, and also some of the fellows of different organizations.  Gender, gender inclusion, digital ‑‑

(Audio technical difficulty).

Sorry about that.  Today I'm glad to I hope it will be a successful one.  Thank you very much.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Last online we have Ernestina.

>> ERNESTINA LAMIORKOR TAWIAH:  Hello, everyone.  My name is Ernestina.  I'm joining today from Ghana, and I am with the private sector telecom engineer in the private sector in Ghana.  I'm also the chairperson for the Ghana chapter.


>> CALEB KWABENA AYITEY KUPHE:  My name is Caleb Kwabena Ayitey Kuphe.  I'm here to also speak on the topic.  Thank you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Thank you all for that action.  We have a number of questions, but, of course, this question I'm just going to go around the discussion, the topic.  I'm going to break it down to some of the environments that have been listed.  Also, to Nathan Ethan.  We have already ‑‑ we have connectivity during and after crisis there is a question that insures that the internet works if a disaster or a crisis, who is responsible?

>> CALEB KWABENA AYITEY KUPHE:  Thank you for that.  I believe the answer there is similar to the question of who does the internet belong to?  Right?  So we all have a part to play when it comes to preparedness for crisis that is before the crisis, and that is after the crisis as well.  We all have a part to play in this period if you are in civil society.  Maybe your critical role there might be providing clear strategies around how to minimize damaging to the critical infrastructure that will be present.  I know some of my colleagues here will talk more on critical infrastructure, but there's a role for civil society.  That is considered high risk involved in the various jurisdictions.  That's defining the role of telephone operators and also other stakeholders around your national emergency telecommunication plans and integrating those national emergency telecom communication plans as a climate change and climate priority.  Civil society as a whole is what I'm saying, but it doesn't stop there.  Your government also has a role in this.  That's regulating future technologies when it comes to preparedness, when it comes to the resilience of the connection of the internet.  We can do that by envisioning satellite IOT as part of the emergency systems, but enabling M‑to‑M solution that serves alternatives and also prioritizing user‑centered and widely accessible solutions.  Government has a role to play, but they must be forward‑thinking in all of this.  Probably the most important is the partnerships that exist in government and private ‑‑ government and private in civil society, but all of us joining forces to create a better solution or better resilience for our connections. 

This need for partnership is around delivering activation protocols known to the industry because sometimes we have governments saying things or trying to implement certain issues or certain solutions, policies, but they're not industry‑known best practices.  There's an incoherent when it comes to the conversation itself.  That's also including empowering and promoting national and international coordination and collaboration along those lines.  I can just end by this.  I would like to give just practice examples of issues or at least case studies where we've actually seen partnerships between ‑‑ private‑public partnerships along these areas.  Has actually worked to a large extent in mitigating some of the damages and insuring that at least some ‑‑ there's a level of connectivity remaining. 

One example was in Australia where they had the Stand Program.  You can all look further into this at your own time, but the Stand Program, it was a disaster satellite service, and that was the first service to go through funding provided by the government and it was strengthening telecommunications and the crisis that we face. 

In China they had the ‑‑ sorry for my pronunciation, but Do Satellite System.  That also integrated satellite services.  We're constantly seeing issues of terrestrial and extraterrestrial combinations.  Especially here in Africa we see examples of us trying to insure our infrastructures at a terrestrial level are at I good pace, but I think going forward there's a need for combined efforts around terrestrial and extraterrestrial coverage.  We've been seeing all of these examples.  I can go on and on, but I'll allow time for the rest of you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Thank you very much, Ethan.  You've really broken it down.  Who ensures that people are connected in case there's been disaster.  Yeah. 

At the end of the day it's what makes us stronger.  It's what is making the internet stronger and be even bigger.  The internet has become a lifeline.  At the end of the day some of these issues, like the upcoming disaster, those are the challenges that we need to deal with.  We have a number of people in the room here.  I'm sure they have different perspectives on how these strategies can relate better.  As we go ahead, we are sure you have a number of questions, a number of additions to what the speakers are saying, so please feel free to raise up your hand in the room or in case there's any participant online, please be sure to ping me so that we can have the opportunity for that participant. 

Shad, over to you.  I would like to talk about resources.  What resources are needed to deploy and maintain communication infrastructure during and after crisis?  Over to you, Shad.

>> SHAH ZAHIDUR RAHMAN:  This is Shah again.  I will try to cover my answer from my experience.  As I told you already that I had an experience on that a long time.  That may surprise the audience, but that the connectivity is what we need to think because we mobilize and place the most demand to analyze the crisis that we are facing.  We need to access that.  Maybe we can connect and take up that national and local ‑‑ because they are the authorities.  From the role during the national ‑‑ like any countries there is an NDMA.  These management are included with the cities, ISPs, and immigrant organizations and the civil societies.  This is also consenting for us.  Like internet connectivity and (audio dropping) ‑‑ for human and also the effort for cities that are under consideration. 

One of the main needs to our understanding is connectivity.  Connectivity is now the thing ‑‑ message is internet and it also included with the voice, SMS, and other services.  This, as we understand, are the (?). 

We need to provide stories through the local partners or if we have any other stockholders from the national perspective that might help us in our process. 

Overall we need to insure that service is restored with the help of all the stockholders.  We need to deploy, first of all, in that technical perspective because we have participants on the routing switching and on the reset.  We need to restore the service using the reset or connections, and also we need to make ‑‑

We maybe need some sort of technicians who are also relevant to that power because one of the importance in these discussions, like when the power is important, so we need to keep up that solar powers and unless we have any battery because it's difficult to get that back up.  Also, we need to have a good portable service that may have janitors.  Other things I will indicate in this inventory.  Basically in conventional ISP or the data operators with that and different services that comes, but during the crisis moment most people rely on the best use first to deploy that and to insure minimum of quality of service so that we can insure that what is connected are connecting to make sure they're connected. 

We can insure just as the provision to in case the national ISPs are affected.  We have to be ‑‑ take their ‑‑ we have to give them also the support for what we can make a partnership from time to time.  We have to restore the services.  We need it also insure privacy.  It's important.  Not only the technical aspect, but also the knowledge of the ICT and also we need to take that as well.  These sorts of things need to be mobilization during the crisis.  After that crisis we have emergency service that we have to restore.  We have the responsibility to operate the service for a certain group because due to that maybe the telecom service already have affected.  We can have a generator, and then we can set up a battery backup.  These are the things as well as levels that we have to make a service level assurance that we can make up to the mark service.  Then we can operate all the service to deliver for the national peoples.  Then we can take whatever ‑‑ recovers by this time maybe the local ISP providers have it restored.  We have to keep it in line because this is not a permanent solution.  Maybe we can have a community network to support on that time.  These are the follow‑up processes after the crisis we need to insure with other stakeholders, including the government and service providers so that we can deliver a smooth service after the crisis as well. 

This is actually from my experience that I'm sharing that we need to be deprovided during the crisis and how we can optimize our service with maximum satisfaction level.  That is from my side.  I think if you have questions, I'll get back to you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Thank you very much, Shah.  That has been really comprehensive.  I have Shah here.  I mean, I have Caleb, but Shah has talked about resources that are needed, and he has talked about technical resources.  I would love Caleb on my right‑hand side here to give us an idea of what exactly critical infrastructure would mean in this scenario.  For example, we have a crisis.  How would you describe critical infrastructure at such a?  Thank you.

>> CALEB KWABENA AYITEY KUPHE:  Once again, my name is Caleb.  Critical infrastructure can be considered as a system, an asset in our digital world.  In terms of crisis, we must understand that ‑‑ we must understand the three elements of critical infrastructure, which is the physical, the cyber, and the human.  It helps to determine the kinds of activities or sectors that can develop within a country.  Thank you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  All right.  Thank you very much.  So as he was talking about critical infrastructure and this perspective, something came up in my mind, and that is I read about something.  A topic called critical infrastructure protection.  In it they are talking about the need for countries to laying out strategies through which they will be able to protect their critical infrastructures.  Yeah? 

For example, the main critical infrastructures most countries have right now, you talk about power grids.  You talk about hydroelectric dams, yeah? 

So many countries have a challenge of protecting these infrastructure, especially from in case they are being controlled automatically or using computers.  Yeah? 

So there have been scenarios of, for example, a power grid is hacked, and someone can actually switch off an entire side of the city if they have access to that ‑‑ to that infrastructure. 

At the end of the day as we are talking about the critical infrastructure would need for a crisis.  Yeah?  Something that can be fast.  It's not like we are going to have to think so far, but things that are very paramount that we can pick up so fast and be able to get back communication systems or support communication in such a region. 

I will do so request us to think about how we can protect this critical infrastructure.  Yeah?  That is something that is very key for countries and communities that need to look into. 

I'll give you a scenario.  For example, you have a hydroelectric dam.  What if someone is able to access the systems and they're able to get to any volume of water that they want.  Some of these things we need to start thinking about them this early because I usually believe that the future is going to be more of I'm not predicting the future, but I'm just trying to say according to the series of events, we all know that disaster is going to be a part of us, yeah, due to climate change and all that.  Floods, earthquakes, and others, yeah?  We as a community that understands what needs to be done we know what can be done.  Actually, for example, we're talking about critical infrastructure during times of crisis.  What if we plan earlier? 

We know that because we can have this, we know regions where the first challenges of disasters, some of those we have talked about them.  Yeah? 

Some countries are even lucky enough to have systems that can detect disaster before it happens.  Yeah?  What about we plan earlier?  What about we set up strategies that can be able to mitigate some of these damages after the disaster? 

I have another speaker that I would love to ask a question, potentially.  That's Eileen.  Eileen, Shah talked about resources.  He talked about who needs to be involved.  He talked about stakeholders.  Eileen, how do we insure that all stakeholders actually work together.  Eileen has a background working with stakeholders.  Especially on issues of resourcing. 

Eileen, I would reinsure that stakeholders that Ethan mentioned here work together to list resources, yeah?  And, of course, how do we insure that there's capacity‑building for stakeholders to plan and respond to disasters using ICTs?  Eileen. 

>> EILEEN KWIPONYA:  Thank you so much.  Can you hear me?

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO: Yes, loud and clear.  Thank you. 

>> EILEEN KWIPONYA:  We have to understand that disasters can strike any time.  COVID‑19 has actually proven to prove that crisis can happen any time anywhere.  We can work together to provide emergency equipment.  When COVID‑19 hits the whole world was taken to a stand still for some time because everyone was confused.  Companies, some of them had to close, and some of them had to take their employees to work from home.  For people to work from home, they need resources like laptops and internet connectivities.  I will use an example of the company that I was working with at that time.  We were many, and we could not work in the offices due to social distancing.  We had to go work from home.  We needed machines to work and also internet connectivity.  My company decided to partner with the companies that are providing the laptops and internet service providers that would provide us with the internet. 

In this partnership I can take it as a practical example of how stakeholders, in this case my company and other companies, came together to provide us.  They overlooked their.  They rose above their business interest for the common good of us to be able to work. 

I would say this is a principle example of how stakeholders can actually come together to solicit treaties in order to contribute.  Of course, normal daily process has to continue, and people have to continue their lives, and you find that also when school continues running and government needs to come in and provide work together with organizations to solicit resources that the laptop for the children to work with, and also provide internet connectivity in schools.  Enable children to continue learning. 

I would also say that ITU as a U.N. agency, it plays a critical role for ICT in disaster risk and action and management by supporting its member states in the process of disaster management.  It does this true through design of national emergency communication fund whereby it actually has a strategic plan that by 2023 all countries will have a national emergency communication plan as part of their national and disaster risk reduction strategies. 

According to a line assessment that they conducted, they found that 29% of countries are the ones that actually have this plan in place, and you find that most of these countries, they are high‑income countries.  You find that the low‑income countries are left out. 

When we ‑‑ according to studies, we said that countries that are prone to disasters are these countries that come from low income areas.  They are the ones that are missing the communication plan. 

If you really want to build resilience in managing a disaster and you don't have the plan, it will be a tall order for you to be able to manage this, so it is important for the government and locals to come together and insure that we develop an emergency telecommunication plan for every country so that when a disaster strikes, we don't have to seek help from far.  Instead we can be able to help ourselves from within.  We don't have to go far away to seek that assistance when we have the plan in place. 

Civil society can also come in place by creating advocacy.  This is now the capacity‑building aspect.  We have to train communities when a disaster strikes.  What is expected of them?  When you train a community on what is expected, they become aware, and they are able to actually ‑‑ we now add real disaster strikes, and they are able to navigate around and be able to see how to build resilience on this and also prevent future occurrences of a disaster. 

So for government it is a disaster management should be a question of policy.  Working together with internet service providers to develop systems that can detect and will prevent these communities from downturns of a disaster is essential thing to keeping the internet working around the clock.  And, also, the stakeholders when they come together, they are able to source for funding.  We are promoting this, and, of course, when a disaster strikes, we need the finances that are a critical aspect of managing a disaster, and it is definitely needed. 

When the stakeholders come together to provide these finances, you find it will make it easy to manage this disaster when it strikes, and also in the future they will be able to mitigate it.  Yeah.  I think that's what I can say about services coming together to soliciting resources and actually building capacity building to communities.  Thank you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  All right.  Thank you very much, Eileen.  Eileen talked about the community, yeah, the affect community.  That's a very strong stakeholder that we should be looking at here.  Yeah. 

How we can be able to help these communities recover or prepare on how to mitigate some of the effects of a disaster. 

So we have a question.  We have a question online, but just before I go to that question, I have another speaker, Ernestina.  Ernestina, following what Eileen has just talked about, especially for the community that is a strong stakeholder that we should be looking at here, how can these communities or the organizations in such an area prepare to mitigate the negative effects of a disaster or a crisis or the negative effects especially on the critical technology infrastructures?

>> ERNESTINA LAMIORKOR TAWIAH:  Thank you very much.  So for first and foremost, we need to know the importance of technology infrastructures of which the telecom sector is part.  We need to know the importance of such during crisis.  Then we can move on to what negative effects it will have on the people, on the community, and then the nation as a whole, and how we can mitigate it.  We need to know that that's during crisis, the telecom sector helps to make people stay safe, connected, and informed.  These are the basic things that telecom sector does in terms of communication. 

Then it does this by notifying people of the occurring disasters, where disasters are being hit, and people should not go there.  Measures to help them keep safe.  This helps to save lives.  This is the basic thing that a telecom sector does during crisis. 

So if we have no connectivity, if the telecom sector goes down, then it means they're going to lose so many lives because people will not be informed.  People will not know which side to pass or where to hide in terms of crisis, how to communicate for help, et cetera. 

Now, the first thing I'll talk about is backup because in times of preparedness for anything at all in life, we know that there's supposed to be a backup.  So how do we have backups for essential infrastructure?  When there's no form of communication and resiliency is not representing the disasters, like I said lives will be lost.  Then there's no form of communication, that would be passed around during disasters, and we need to have multiple communication options ready.  We wouldn't need to depend on solely the telecom must stand in respective communities to provide services to the people in the community.  Why?  Because in disasters we don't know what might happen to what infrastructure.  So there has to be backups.  We need to get backup batteries that would last long.  We need to get generators if there was a power outage that has made a telecom infrastructure fail to give connectivity to people in a certain space or area. 

Since they rely on power ‑‑ sorry.  Since they rely on power, we wouldn't need to really rely solely on organizations that provide connectivity.  As the community work, we do for ourselves to help ourselves in times like this. 

We would also definitely need to have battery backups and anything to give us power.  Power is the sole main thing in times of connectivity because without power, we cannot bring up the telecom server power.  The phone itself cannot even work.  Because your phone is off, you're unable to connect to the internet.  You're unable to mate make calls. 

To prepare for this we should consider backup power options.  For example, battery packs for mobile devices and, yeah, having generators on standby for the telecom sides as well as homes.  All these things can be done when we have community networks. 

Having people getting deployed into the communities to assist with all these things, guiding people together in one place so that we can provide them with services rendered by telecommunications in times of disaster. 

Now, boosting telecommunication properties would help very much in times like this where we have communication services to, like I said, by gathering people around, you can have it provide communication services that has infrastructure like probably satellites, communication to one particular hub, and then being shared to community members in a particular confined zone where they can have access to the internet, get their opportunity to communicate for help for food, anything to save their lives. 

Also, we need to educate our communities and citizens as well.  In times of communication everybody would want to reach out, everybody would want to call for help.  People would want to know what is going on elsewhere.  By then we also know that when everybody is trying to use a particular service or infrastructure, it gets overloaded.  So many times of disaster, we would need to educate our citizens and communities that in times of disaster, we put first things first.  You would not need to try and watch a video of what is happening elsewhere.  When someone else needs that particular resource to call out for help. 

First thing is first.  If it's not going to be you calling for help, you are making a call because there's an urgency of food or you need an actual emergency.  We need to educate ourselves that in times like this, we should put hold ‑‑ we should put on hold the things that mattered in your normal lifestyle because we are not in normal times.  So if you want emergency access, then you can use your phone.  If you want the urgency of maybe health care, food, letting people know that you need help somewhere, then that is when we can actually use our phones to prevent overload in times like this. 

So I'll come back to the fact that the championing of network communities or community networks would assist with all these things because we would need representatives and those affected by disasters would need them to assist them to help them in times of disasters know how to communicate and which points to get to connectivity. 

I think the basic thing here as I get backups for power (audio drop).  Networks and volunteers would also go a long way to help mitigate such crisis or in times of crisis.  Thank you very much.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Thank you to, Ernestina, for that submission.  Online we have Shadrach.  I will offer the mic to Shadrach after I go to some questions that have been submitted online.  If we have any questions in the room or any submissions, please you can let me know.  Thank you.  Over to you, Shadrach.  To the tech guys, would you please allow Shadrach to speak? 


>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Yes, Shadrach. 

>> SHADRACH ANKRAH:  Thank you for the opportunity.  (Poor connection) thank you for the opportunity to speak.  You mentioned a few steps.  One is infrastructure that we need.  How are the communities are and then the emergency responders.  So, first of all, where we talk about this, we have to know the demands of the community, so we have to assess whether the demand of the community is greater than the support of the community or that government can offer. 

That is where we say actually it's beyond the community or the government support.  Then we have to call upon other organizations and other actors.  In this case if there is a disaster which the country cannot afford to hold that disaster, then the government now calls on national organizations like the United Nations, World Food Program, their ETC.  You have NGOs like and organizations like Cisco who also are coming together to provide support. 

Okay.  So back to the infrastructure.  Here when the disaster happens, first we have to assess the disaster and do a survey to know the needs of the community.  So is the community ‑‑ is it a flood community?  So all these things have to be considered.  Then you know that, okay, is if the community is among a continuous community or finally you have to know that, okay, if it's ‑‑ then what are the resources?  Are you going to use these odds?  Are you going to use radios like power beam, light beam?  Are you going to use other points, or these resources have to be considered.  First are you going to use satellites to provide some form of communication to maybe the head of this to be able to provide these resources. 

First, the first responders would probably use a satellite reach to communicate with the head.  With that they can provide some resources which come quickly, provide some means of communication.  Here the communities can rely on where they donate any infrastructure.  They just set up and then provide some WIFI access point to a few people. 

Then when connectivity is established, then their community can now rely on other infrastructure which ‑‑ if the community wants to rely on these sides, then they can have these sides connected with radios.  For example, I said the devices reach online, so without that they come quickly and deploy these devices for their government agency.  When it is set up, they can now relay connectivity to the community for them to have a sense to the internet.  This also calls for power.  To have connectivity, they also have to have power.  In this case there are other means of power that are sustainable. 

So using, for example ‑‑ the community can also have access to power that maybe the national grid is destroyed, and they can rely to power the phones and then commit to the infrastructure.  These are some of the resources that a community has to have.  By first doing the assessment of the disaster and then the way in which devices are ‑‑ here as an example of the resource that Net Scope uses and they most of the time use Cisco devices where we have the MR device appliance.  They have the Cisco access points, and their switches.  Without those devices, they can quickly deploy especially from where they can reach out quickly to the phone. 

We can quickly get access to the network, having to delay on some of the other policies that the government puts in place in particular. 

Also, as we touch on other issues like of who needs to come together to provide the resources, here we have the government, we have the private sector civil society and other stakeholders.  The government parts when it comes to images is here the governments can provide some spectrum to provide connectivity and their government also provides resources like computers and also to provide connectivity was the technical community also how to train people to a set of these ‑‑ for example, the community net choice.  It was academia and civil society can also do some regarding all these and basically these are ones that we add in to when it comes to telecommunications.  It's very important all stakeholders come together, bring their resources, and then communities who are affected by disasters can have access to the internet, and then we can all benefit from the internet.  Thank you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Thank you very much, Shadrach.  Shadrach Ankrah from Ghana.  He is the lead brain behind.  That's why he has been able to give his submission.  Online we have Elnur.  Elnur is a prospective here.  He says what he has personally experienced is the case that actually the government cuts the connectivity by shutting down the internet in times of some crisis in order to prevent this information.  Can it be justified?  Then.

Because I hate to say, if it is justified, how can we develop strategies without involving the government which can sometimes be on the side of disrupting connectivity instead of insuring internet? 

One thing is that you cannot have a crisis in a country and work without the government.  That is one thing I think everyone might can agree with because the government at this point would definitely be strategic stakeholder or the lead stakeholder, even if the agencies or people that provide support or kind of relief aid to the ones that have been affected, government always has to take lead, like, through the office that is responsible for disaster preparedness and, of course, the ministries that are responsible for such infrastructure that has been developed ‑‑ that has been destroyed and then also the private sector companies that could be owning that infrastructure. 

So, yes, I agree that sometimes the internet is either censored or shut down to make ‑‑ to stop disinformation.  At this point how do we describe the disinformation is also something we all need to look at.  Yeah?  When does a disaster ‑‑ what do we want the world to know about the disaster?  Do we want something to be hidden?  Yeah?  At the end of the day that is the politics that comes in during such kind of response during such kind of response towards these disasters. 

Otherwise, I'm not a speaker, so I have Ethan here.  I'm sure he has a perspective on that if you can say anything on that trying to justify whether it's acceptable or not for the government to shut down the internet because it feels like maybe sometimes it doesn't want some information to go out there, or it doesn't want the actual numbers. 

We saw this during COVID, yeah, where some governments were intentionally trying to regulate the information that goes out there.  What the world knows about the reality of COVID in their countries.  Yeah?  Over to you, Ethan.

>> ETHAN MUDAVANHU:  Thank you for the question.  I think just to answer it in sort of like a part A and part B, so part A, which was actually part B of your question, is whether we can do without the government, and I think on to your point, the government is an implementing body, so whatever policy or whatever strategy solution that we may come up with at the end of the day we need them to implement the ideas. 

So it's probably the spirit of this platform and this conference, but it's when we are talking about multi‑stakeholder approaches, we're saying that these conversations are not easy to have because we are all speaking different languages and have different processes to adhere to, but we must still have those conversations. 

I think that is the basis of the internet and also moving forward and insuring a resilient internet connection during crises.  Can it be justified?  Sometimes there's less coverage that is produced or directed towards certain areas because, for example, if it's a natural disaster, then we need the resources to be channelled towards a particular area where there are victims or potential victims if those areas.  So the situations vary. 

But in general I could say that we need to have an approach where we support an open internet, and that would be my general answer.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  All right.  Thank you very much, Ethan.  So we still have another question.  Thank you very much for that submission.  Unless another speaker has a different perspective or something they would like to add to that, we have a question from Wilma.  Wilma asks what the IGF is doing about accessibility for persons with disabilities.  In this context we do agree that whenever there is a crisis there are always persons that are more vulnerable.  We saw this during the COVID pandemic where most of the people with disabilities were complaining about access to information because sometimes the information was there, but it wasn't in their format.  Like, if I can't hear and you are broadcasting the information using sound, then I won't be able to hear. 

But, of course, we also saw stakeholders trying to bridge up the gap by trying to see that there was a solution to every aspect of the communication from the pictorials and the sound.  We are working to see that persons with disabilities are considered.  We all know that right from the proposal of these sessions there's an aspect of inclusion, yeah?  Of inclusion.  Where you have to reassure the decision is inclusive.  If possible you should be having persons with disability represented. 

I'll give you an example of, okay, coordinate the youth IGF in Uganda.  This year's youth IGF in Uganda, we had a number of young people leading with disability.  We actually give them their own session to talk about accessibility in their perspective.  Yeah?  To share their experiences with the audiences just so that people can understand that during crisis or during disaster they are usually the most affected because even during the normal times they are still facing challenges. 

Yeah, that gives some light on that question unless there's a speaker who wants to add something or entering the room that has additional comment or ‑‑ yeah. 

I have another question for Ethan.  Sorry, Ethan.  I'm so much on your back, but I think this will be ‑‑ oh, okay.  Ethan, I guess you like it.  We have a question or submission there.  Thank you.  Let's go ahead.

>>  Audience:  I'm from the Internet Society.  I wanted to follow up on the point that you raised earlier detecting disasters early.  I wanted to share one experience that we are doing in Kyrgyzstan in cooperation with theoretical physics under UNESCO.  It's using IOT devices and communication technology to try to monitor climate change and to prevent disasters.  This is going to be released in project where you see support from ISOC foundation.  We will be using IOT devices.  One of the speakers earlier mentioned that the power supply is key to these kinds of projects, and this IOT devices will be using very little energy so they can last for long, and we're going to use them in mountainous yours of Kyrgyzstan as a pilot project, and we hope to then maybe perhaps the next IGF we can report on the progress. 

The climate change in the past two years has become very evident in Kyrgyzstan, so we're having avalanches, floods, everything and heavy rains in places where there was never rain.  Now we're trying to use the technologies to kind of monitor and hopefully prevent some of these disasters and to communicate the information from this IOT devices we will be using this very low band width frequencies, lower 1, and there is one challenge we are face, and I think it will be an interesting experience.  We plan to use license‑free spectrum.  However, in some of the countries like in Kyrgyzstan, even license‑free spectrum is not regularly available, so we will be trying to see how governments are open or flexible in providing spectrum access to these kinds of projects.  I'll be happy to in the future share more information and if there are colleagues who would like to learn more, we will be available.  Thank you.  Are.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO: >> INNOCENT ADRIKO: Thank you very much for that submission.  Yeah, detecting disaster before it happens is actually something we are looking at.  It's something that every stakeholder here should be taking back home.  Yeah?  If possible, we should be able to influence the responsible or the respective agencies to be able to put this in mind. 

Yesterday I was talking to an officer from Uganda, from my country, and I was telling him about the need for them to plan.  Yeah?  Sometimes it's not about waiting for something to happen, but actually have an advantage if you know that something is going to happen.  Meaning usually they are able to detect what is coming and the magnitude.  Yeah?  What about he with use such data to be able to plan.  You have a plan on the ground that, okay, this is going to happen, but this is what we can do.  And usually you'll find that when you have that plan the impact might be serious, but then you might already be able to mitigate is or you might be already ready to catch up within the shortest time possible. 

So thanks very much for that.  I have a question about, oh, please.  We have a submission.  Please go ahead.

>>  Audience:  Thank you.  My name ‑‑ I'm a researcher and master student from the University of Capetown.  My question is, I think because I've shared a lot about the sustainability issues of community networks, mainly power issues, and other things like setting up these networks and helping the communities.  So my question is what are your ideas or opinions on building community network resilience, and how can communities turn around and be strong through sustaining this community networks especially when it comes to network management?  Thank you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  All right.  Thank you very much for that question.  Ethan, I was actually going to ask you about community networks, so I think that is basically the question for you.  Thank you.

>> ETHAN MUDAVANHU:  Thank you for the question.  I just wanted it highlight something that I thought was very important for all of us as we go back to our various communities.  That's one point that Caleb was talking about around critical infrastructure.  I think one of the challenges we face is that we don't even have a shared definition of what critical infrastructure is.  So moving on from that and then the resilience part of it and we're talking about community networks it becomes difficult when we can't have a Harmonized framework around this and just last month at the penitentiary at the ITU there was one resolution around cyber security, and there are several issues on it, but one of the more contentious issues was really that member states couldn't agree on what critical infrastructure was.  So these are the challenges that we're facing, and like I was saying, as we go back to our communities and how I think it's incumbent on us to try to push and drive these conversations to insure that we are making headway, we can't still be talking about definitions at this point in time when, you know, people are dying.  There are crises that are happening, and further from that I think there was the ‑‑ since the adoption of the IOGA framework, a framework for action that was in 2005, there has been progress.  There has been progress around reducing disaster risk at a community level and national and international level as well.  Through that framework, but that was in 2005. 

For context in 2005 we didn't have even the first iPhone out.  Now I think we're on number 14.  Even though sometimes it feels there's one coming out every two days, but that's just to say that the technology has advanced and there are studies that have advanced.  Still we have a gap between policies and where we are at.  That needs to be channelled and that needs to be addressed.  I think there is a clear need for broader and more people centered preventive approach to disaster risk if we're talking about communication.  I can speak to some of the fax that we found in a recent study we did, and that was in the last Tennessee years over 700,000 people have lost their lives due to natural disasters.  Over one million have been injured, and about 23 million have been left homeless.  To put that also into context, 23 million people being left homeless, that is the equivalent, and I think Namibia. 

We have a serious issue and a serious crisis that I think needs urgent attention and urgent addressing, but just going back to the solutions to the question that was asked, I think the answer is simple but also complex in its nature.  Our communities now need to create strategies and solutions around reducing response times, and I'll talk more about that, but we've seen in the United States that for every minute that they reduced in response time this is the health care sect over.  For every minute that they reduced in their procedures, they decreased their overall mortality by 17%.  That's just been reducing one minute response time. 

For every 10% reduction in response time in the U.K. they reduced 7% in mortality rates. 

This is around property damage if you are talking infrastructure as well.  For every minute reduced when it comes to response times for fires in New Zealand and in United States around 2,700 to $6,000 U.S. dollars reduced in infrastructure damaged costs.  We're just talking about one minute, reducing our response time in one minute.  Then to break that down into with what that means for a conversation that we are having right now is how can we reduce the response time during disasters to assist our communities to alleviate some of these issues?  Well, one of the issues was already shared could be around licensing frameworks.  Right?  How can we develop or expedite licensing frameworks that get towards emergency communications.  How can we better prepare?  So preparedness in facilitating emergency response capabilities and planning in and factoring in including the availability and access to all the necessary satellite equipment and training personnel to install and use it.  Sounding like a broken record here, but I strongly believe in the combination between terrestrial and extraterrestrial work and collaboration when it comes to connectivity in these issues, and it's also guaranteeing flexibility when it comes to measures to facilitate emergency communications, deployment, and lastly, one key thing that I've also briefly talked on, but it's facilitating good faith partnerships between all the stakeholders.  With all of these sort of, like, ideas and, and we can come together to insure that our communities are stronger and safer and our infrastructures for community networks are more resilient in that aspect.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Thank you very much, Ethan.  We have just 17 minutes until the end of this session, but we have some key issues that we would love to discuss before those 17 minutes get done.  I'll just go back to Caleb.  I would love Caleb to talk about critical infrastructure development plans.  Yeah?  How can we insure that countries develop these plans?  Thank you, Caleb.

>> CALEB KWABENA AYITEY KUPHE:  Thank you for the question.  First of all, a developing country, I strongly believe that to insure a development country understand the framework and the plan for the infrastructure system we must first know how to protect the critical infrastructure sector understanding the risks involved, protecting the critical infrastructure, and knowing where vulnerability lies.  Sorry.  Practice good cyber hygiene, secure the internet of devices, take advantage of their technologies, establish emergency protocols.  Also, more vulnerable ‑‑ the more the vulnerability it is, the more critical it becomes.  Lack of alternative increases its criticalities. 

Also, I think collaboration between stakeholders like governments, private sector, civil society.  The government and the private sector can help with some resources like Reuters, switches, computers, et cetera while civil society, academia, and the technology community can also collaborate to provide trainings to deploy the telecommunications infrastructure. 

Therefore, developing countries must also learn how to produce their own digital resources and other devices that can help during critical ‑‑ during disaster. 

They must be able to resource personnels that can understand the emergency response just as like internet society collaborated with net hope to train people in disaster management.  I believe when we come together and provide resources for such people, we will be able to manage critical infrastructures. 

Developing countries must double current investment level in critical project to have an effective plan.  I believe there is a lot of funding for people who want to go into critical infrastructure who wants to steady critical infrastructure at the masters level.  It will also help because that would be a lot of people who also come on board to help this government organizations, private sectors and will be able to manage the critical infrastructure.  Thank you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Thank you very much, Caleb.  Caleb has talked about how we're going to insure that countries actually develop these plans, which is very important, and it brings me to the next question or the next issue of regulatory frameworks, and this question goes to Shah.  Shah, if you could please tell us what regulatory frameworks in different regions that you feel are actually paramount or that are actually helping to govern the deployment of physical infrastructure?  This includes telecommunications infrastructure and the power grids that have ‑‑

(Background simultaneous conversation).


>> SHAH ZAHIDUR RAHMAN:  Thank you, again, for asking the questions.  Actually, whenever it comes to the regulatory frameworks provided by governments come, you know that every country has a different, like, broadband policy or the service providers.  Regarding to that question, I just want to mention, for example, in law there is actions of the emergency service provider.  There are some source of lanes that we need to follow that in that framework and also whenever some as I earlier mentioned and talked about, we need to be some sort of because we are facing and we are making the good practice.  So the best practice we formalize in that maybe the good approach of having the structures that can come in the governance of the deployment of the service.  One of the things I like to share here, like, to insure that technology for the solutions during that time, and to be flexible, so because it's that emergency sphere.  We cannot be so strict to the loss or that countries have to be flexible to adaptation to the emergency situations. 

But on the other hand, you must be careful so that it can be aligned with that at least a minimum recommendation to the privacy protections and the security of that particular affected inventory and alias. 

Also during the projects, I think that the most important is to having emergency help from the original office to in this work and obviously the governments and local authorities, so the best practice is to take their suggestions and what are the national needs that could be in the discussions.  Overall we need to think about the best practice that I said and perspective that not be harmful because we are using saying the national is also involved, the solar power system.  In case of the national temporary mobile solar system, and that would also not be vulnerable for the communities that is also need to be considered, and also I think we expect it's included that telecommunications, what is that also in the interconnectivity and that different operators or the service provider that need to be figured out so it can give the best service because whenever the service is delivered to the telecommunication radio to interact with that with one, it makes the service helpers, and it's not the first to deliver our service.  We should also be careful on these things. 

This governing system from a perspective should be in consideration during the crisis moment.  Thank you.  Back to you.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  Thank you very much, Shah, once again.  So we have a question online from Robert.  The question is who should bear the cost of connectivity during a crisis.  Yeah?  A case in point is during the COVID‑19 pandemic.  ISPs provided unkept internet to institutions, but later they were made to pay for it. Ets, this was a global crisis.  So I'm going to leave the other speakers think about that question.  Maybe, Lynn, you could take that question.  Just before you can answer that question, I would love to go to Ernestina and still on the issue of policies.  How do we align with realities (Caleb, not Lynn).  How do we align with those realities in connectivity.  Over to you, Ernestina.

>> ERNESTINA LAMIORKOR TAWIAH:  Thank you very much.  In aligning to policy gaps in times of crisis during connectivity during crisis, I feel the following should be laid down to assist and have a well‑drafted guide as to what to do and not to be diverted in times of crisis.  We need to have regulatory agencies, and the governments in various countries should insure that there are compliance teams or regulatory agencies in every part of an organization.  Ethan mentioned frameworks.  Yes.  When there are laid down frameworks, that would guide us in times of crisis.  These can be other regulatory agencies.  Teams that are created in these agencies would make sure that whatever every community needs, the backups they need, terrestrial what they have, and what infrastructure they need in times of crisis will be provided.  It would also provide financial support for the agency.  In times of crisis.  So if providing reliable financial services for the agency, we can partner with NGOs, stakeholders, because I feel like it's a collaborative effort.  Stakeholders, NGOs, the private sector, government, all coming together to probably have funding for the agency.  In times of critical issues, in times of crisis we will find ourselves not wanting. 

In Ghana we have an agency where in times of disasters they get deployed out to help people who have been affected with food, those who need places to sleep get places to sleep.  Those who need infrastructure, like mattresses, those who need lights are provided with lights, food, et cetera. 

This can also help, and then establishing an independent board of directors and running the regulatory government will insure that the work independently and effectively functioning on the policies that have been laid down in these regulatory agencies. 

Also, talk about locally we find out that we can have one multi‑national company running the technical aspects of so many telecom organizations, and this does not help. 

So the governments must try to do away with telephone monopoly so it can bring about better communication services where, in the monopoly these companies are not going to be challenged enough to provide good services for their customers, but then when there's the variety if you challenge that if you're not doing the right things, then your customers are going to be lost, and they are going elsewhere.  In times of crisis, the variety would also add up to help people because not one ‑‑ sorry.  No one agency is calling all the shots.  Then they are collaborating efforts from various organizations. 

Also, there's the connection among countries within regions in Africa, and so like we all stated earlier, we have to encourage community networks.  We've had some in Namibia, congo, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, et cetera.  These are done by businesses ‑‑ some businesses and some organizations NGOs, and the government has not been involved yet.  Some businesses and some individual organizations have partnered with NGOs to get communities connected.  This has stopped isolation. 

Even though there hasn't been a crisis in the community, it's isolated from the internet, they've been isolated in terms of connectivity.  Some NGOs have been able to come up with community networks to support them.  I work continually with this and improving and also going a long way to help in times of crisis and disasters and also, lastly, I would like to say that we should improve on our digital literacy as citizens of countries.  Improving on this digital literacy would also help develop our digital resilience in times of crisis.  That is, you know how your infrastructures are working in your country and how to go around it so then if you are not getting help yet, you can actually have an idea of where help comes to you. 

Thank you very much.

>> INNOCENT ADRIKO:  All right.  Thank you very much.  Ernestina. 

I think Robert's question has partially been answered.  I mean, it's not about the government.  It's not about the private sector.  It's not about civil society, but it's about everyone.  When we have our crisis, when we have a disaster, and then insuring that this emergency connectivity I object from a structure is everyone's. 

I think we have two minutes, and we've had a great discussion.  I'm sure everyone has something to not or something to take home.  It's now upon us as stakeholders to go back and insure that our countries plan for deployment of emergency infrastructure during times of crisis because this is a reality for us as humanity now.  Yeah.  We should expect this, and we should plan for this.  The gentleman there talked about how they are already planning to detect disasters just before they can happen.  That should be a plan for every country already.  At the end of the day we are not ‑‑ we don't have scenarios where there's a disaster and there's totally no communication with the region or there's no coordination of humanitarian assistance. 

Thank you very much all speakers from Caleb to Ernestina to Eileen to Shah to Shadrach.  That has been our session.  My name is innocent Adriko, and not forgetting Ethan.  He has been a key speaker for the session.  Thank you very much.  Thanks, everyone, for joining both on site.  We have heard about 26 participants online, so thanks, everyone.  Have a nice day.  Thank you very much.