OECS – Internet stakeholders from across the Caribbean and North America will next week convene at the Hilton Hotel in Bridgetown, Barbados for the second regional gathering of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) Caribbean Forum, on April 8 to 9.  ARIN, a Washington-DC based non-profit organisation, manages Internet number resources Canada, the United States in several Caribbean territories. 

The organisation also coordinates the development of policies for managing Internet Protocol number resources. The Caribbean Forum was created by ARIN in 2018 to strengthen ties and deepen collaborations with public sector officials, law enforcement agencies and members of the Internet technical community in the Caribbean.

The theme for this year’s event is “Caribbean Priorities for the Global Internet.” The program will feature Caribbean and international speakers, round table discussions, and case studies on topics relevant to international Internet public policy development and law enforcement agency collaboration on cybersecurity in the Caribbean.

The forum will provide practical approaches and strategies in international cooperation, policy harmonisation and policy development participation.

The Forum will comprise three distinct meetings. An invitation-only Law Enforcement Group, staged in collaboration with APEX, the Caribbean agency responsible for justice technology, focused on cybersecurity will be held  on Wednesday 10 April from 12 – 4 p.m. for security, policing and public safety officials.

An open, Public Policy Group meeting, hosted in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), for public sector and civil society representatives will take place on Thursday 11 April from 9 – 4 p.m and a Technical Community Group meeting , hosted in collaboration with the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), will be staged  from  Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 April 11 from 9 am to 4 pm  daily.

The CaribNOG, meeting will focus on Internet exchange point implementation, IPv6 deployment, and cloud services and security and targets network administrators, information technology managers, computer engineers and security professionals from across the region.

“ARIN has a long track record of supporting Internet development initiatives in the Caribbean outreach program. The ARIN Caribbean Forum continues that tradition,” said Bevil Wooding, Caribbean Outreach Liaison at ARIN.

“The Forum provides and important and necessary environment the exchange of ideas, perspectives and experiences amongst three very important stakeholder groups in the Caribbean – Governments, Law Enforcement Agencies and the CaribNOG community.

By working with regional agencies organizations such as the CTU, CaribNOG, APEX and the OECS Commission,  ARIN hopes to strengthen the collaborations and accelerate the development of policies and programs necessary  for a secure and resilient Internet in the Caribbean.” said Mr. Wooding.

Since 2017, ARIN has steadily increased outreach to the Caribbean. In 2018, the registry launched an outreach series of outreach events branded “ARIN in the Caribbean.”

The events touched eight countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and the US Virgin Islands. The series attracted over 400 participants, including network operators, business leaders, regulators, and government officials.

One outcome of the registry’s 2018 outreach has been the application by several governments and private network operators for autonomous systems numbers and next-generation Internet Protocol numbers, called IPv6 addresses, to support the rollout of locally hosted internet services and to improve the resilience of local networks.

Last March, the St. Kitts and Nevis government became one of the first in the Caribbean to have its application for a unique identifier on the global Internet approved by ARIN.

“The our outreach activities in the Caribbean, ARIN continues to encourage greater Caribbean involvement in Internet policy development and continues to promote the implementation of network best practices across the region. The ARIN Fellowship Program has allowed more persons from the Caribbean to participate in the ARIN policy development process, bringing important Caribbean perspectives and priorities to discussions  that impact the global Internet,” Wooding shared.

Collaborations with ARIN partners in the Caribbean have also increased. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and ARIN established a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the development of the Internet in the sub-region.

ARIN is also collaborating with the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the Internet Society on public awareness and Internet capacity building  initiatives in the Caribbean.