Lewis, Bernadette

Candidate Speech

Photo of Bernadette Lewis
Organization: Caribbean Telecommunications Union

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Candidate Questionnaire

Provide a brief biography of recent experience, associations, and affiliations relevant to serving on the Board of Trustees.

In August 2003, I was appointed as the Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). My early work was dedicated to revitalising the organisation and transforming it into a multi-stakeholder, relevant and vibrant ICT organization and putting it at the forefront of regional activities to harmonise policies and practices for the development of the Caribbean ICT sector.

In 2005, under my direction, the Caribbean achieved a worldwide first by initiating a regional, multi-stakeholder Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The Caribbean IGF has since met annually, with one of its major achievements being the promulgation of a Caribbean Internet Governance Policy Framework. The CTU has successfully implemented many of the policies in the Framework, one of the more significant being the proliferation of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in the Caribbean.

The issues pertaining internet governance, IPv4 imminent exhaust, IPv6, IXPs and other Internet related matters have been the subject of Caribbean Ministerial ICT Strategic Seminars which I initiated with a view to explaining the evolving Internet ecosystem and promoting greater understanding amongst Caribbean Government Ministers. These Seminars have equipped senior government officials with the necessary information to act decisively on a number of IG projects.

As a strong proponent for ICT-enabled Caribbean development, I continue to advocate the use of ICTs through an initiative called the Caribbean ICT Roadshow. The Roadshow Initiative, started in 2009, is designed to raise awareness and educate on the how ICTs and the Internet in particular may be effectively employed to enhance every sphere of endeavour. The Initiative targets all sectors of society from the youth, to budding entrepreneurs to government departments, the business community and civil society. It has been held with great success 20 times in 17countries that it has thus far visited, 3 countries having already held two Roadshows.

I believe that development of ICTs and the Internet is a collective responsibility. Therefore, since 2005, the CTU has worked in strategic partnerships with many Internet-related organisations. Of particular importance is the CTU’s partnership with ARIN, with which it has a co-operation agreement. The two organisations have come together effectively to further the growth and effective use of the Internet and its resources in the Caribbean.

In 2012, the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Registry’s (LACNIC) conferred on me an Outstanding Achievement Award for my efforts towards developing the Internet in the region.

What Internet-related services do you or your organization provide?

The CTU has been actively raising awareness and educating regional stakeholders on issues relating to the development and use of the Internet and its resources. The CTU has jointly hosted and participated in Internet policy fora with ARIN and regularly convenes capacity building programmes on Internet topics. These activities have contributed significantly to raising awareness, education and building the expertise of many stakeholders on Internet matters.

The CTU hosts an annual Caribbean Internet Governance Forum and spearheads the implementation of the policies of the Caribbean Internet Governance Policy Framework. The CTU has been educating on, promoting and actively supporting the proliferation of Caribbean Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). The establishment of the 6 IXPs in the region is as a direct result of the CTU’s work.

The CTU also produces documents designed to educate its stakeholders on internet issues. Some of the more recent works include a Caribbean Handbook on IPv6, a White Paper on IXPs, and a Caribbean Cyber Security Policy Framework, all of which have contributed significantly to introducing and explaining the subjects in the context of the Caribbean experience.

Through its strategic partnerships with many Internet organisations, including ARIN, the CTU has been able to extend its influence bringing to the attention of Caribbean stakeholders the role and work of such organisations and encouraging participation in their activities.

Because of its work in the region, the CTU has become the preferred source for information on the Internet and consistently provides advice on Internet-related issues to its members and wider community of Caribbean stakeholders.

What conflicts, real or perceived, might arise should you be elected to the Board?

ARIN and the CTU are signatories to a Cooperation Agreement. ARIN supports the CTU’s work financially and this may be a challenge should I be elected. However, I believe that this could be overcome by my recusing myself from any discusions or decisions regarding the ongoing relationship between the ARIN and the CTU.

Describe any limitations on your ability to attend Board and Public Policy Meetings in person or to serve the entirety of a 3-year term.

I do not perceive any limitations to my ability to attend the Board and Public Policy Meetings.

How do you foresee ARIN’s function, scale, or role changing in the future?

Number resource management will be the core of ARIN’s function in the foreseeable future. However, the need exists to engage the wider community of Internet users in the ARIN Region and to recognise that issues that are of concern to Canada and the United States are not necessarily those of concern to the sovereign states and countries that comprise the “Caribbean and North Atlantic islands”.

The usual participants in ARIN’s activities are a small fraction of the users of Internet resources. In my view, it is incumbent on ARIN to focus on engaging non-traditional stakeholders such as Governments and private sector organisations, not only on the subject of ARIN’s role and work but also on issues such as IPv6 adoption, cyber-security and internet governance.

It is imperative that growing emphasis be placed on protecting privacy, cyber-security and supporting law enforcement agencies in the ARIN region in combatting cyber-crime.

What is your opinion of the principles outlined in RFCs 2050 and 2050bis?

RFC 2050 describes the mechanism for the distribution of globally unique Internet address space and the operations of registries for a time pre-dating the current environment of Regional Internet Registries, IP address-intensive applications, ubiquity of mobile and other IP-based devices and increasing IPv6 adoption. The necessary review and update of the guidelines to reflect the current and evolving environment has presented some clear challenges one of which is the apparent omission of certain principles in the revised document, 2050bis.

I believe that the overarching guiding principles of RFC 2050 namely those of conservation, routabality and registration are still relevant and necessary and have been reflected in the the goals of RFC 2015bis, perhaps not as concisely and explicitly as stated in RFC 2050. I think the community must decide whether the principles are adequately expressed in the revision and if not, they should be reflected in ARIN’s number resource policies.

What would broaden participation in the ARIN public policy development process?

The level of participation in ARIN public policy development process is a function of the insight and understanding of the inner working of the Internet and evolving Internet issues. . The people who currently participate are very knowledgeable on these matters. The very technical nature of discussions at the fora can therefore be daunting and prove to be a disincentive to participation. I believe this could be overcome in part, if ARIN’s meetings were segmented in a manner that builds capacity of the less knowledgeable to enable greater understanding of the issues and thereby encourage participation.

Alternatively, outreach programmes to enable meaningful participation should be undertaken. These programs should be designed to educate and raise the level of understanding of non-traditional stakeholders, such as governments, regulators, enterprises and technically inclined young people. The subject matter and language must be tailored to be comprehensible to different audiences. These engagements should be in the context of what is important to the stakeholders and how ARIN’s work and support are important and of benefit to them.

Finally, ARIN needs to enhance its visibility and to the wider community of Internet users in its Region. If stakeholders are not aware of ARIN’s existence, they cannot participate.

What is ARIN’s role, if any, in promoting IPv6 adoption?

As a registry for Internet number resources, ARIN should be at the forefront of educating and raising awareness of IPv6 and the need for IPv6 adoption. The community of Internet users must be made aware and prepared for the inevitable exhaust of IPv4 addresses.

What are ARIN’s greatest challenges and how do you see ARIN addressing them?

Rapid technological innovation is a challenge for many Internet-related organisation and in ARIN’s case, may render existing policies obsolete. The effects may be mitigated by a more formal approach to researching emerging technology trends, determining the potential impact on current practices and proactively making appropriate policy recommendations.

The growing issues pertaining to cyber-crime would also necessitate insight into the changing environment and positioning of the organisation to respond appropriately by proving support to law-enforcement agencies.

Another challenge for ARIN would be the growth of a grey Market for IPv4 addresses outside of ARIN’s purview, with the potential to compromise network security and stability of the Internet. ARIN must therefore engage in education on the issues; promote and actively support widespread adoption of IPv6 .

What is the appropriate scope for ARIN’s organizational activities and responsibilities?

There is a need for formalising a series of training programmes designed to building capacity to enable stakeholders to participate more fully in ARIN’s activities. A statting point for the design of the programme should entail a survey to determine the current level of understanding of the participants.

As part of its outreach, ARIN should develop strategic partnerships with regional and international organisations with compatible goals. This approach would provide access to a wider group of stakeholders; raise ARIN’s visibility in the region; and provide opportunities for advancing ARIN’s work, capacity building activities and cross fertilisation of ideas.

A systematic research programme should also be added to ARIN’s organisational activities.

What is your position on the multi-stakeholder Internet governance?

As indicated earlier, I wholeheartedly support multi-stakeholder engagement. All of the CTU’s work is based on multi-stakeholder participation, involving diverse parties. We have found that such engagement, appropriately structured, yields better solutions and outcomes, to which all stakeholders are able commit and support.

The CTU’s seminal work in developing a harmonised Caribbean Spectrum Management Policy was formulated on the basis of multi-stakeholder participation and the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum is also based on multi-stakeholder engagement. The CTU’s work in these and other areas has been very productive and successful as a result.


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