A new Internet Society Chapter had been founded within the Regional Bureau in Latin America & Caribbean. The creation of the Internet Society Dominica Chapter was officially launched on January 11, at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau City. The event was attended by 25 people, several key stakeholders from two major ISPs, as well as government representatives.
We would like to extend a warm welcome to all members and to the new Chapter executives (pictured above from left to right): Craig Nesty (President), Grayson Stedman Jr. (Vice President), Ishmael Joseph (Secretary), and Austin Lazarus (Treasurer).
“The Chapter was founded by staff members of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission” says Melisha Toussaint, NTRC Assistant Engineer and Chapter member. “In recent times, the NTRC has updated its mandate not only to regulate the telecommunications industry in Dominica, but also to create an enabling environment for the growth and development of the Internet and ICTs.”
What are the key interests of the new Chapter?
One of the key goals is to support the Dominica government’s idea to create a climate resilient country following the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017. The disaster helped realize the importance of communication post-disaster. In 2019, the Chapter aims to address the government to the deployment of community networks which will be crucial in facilitating communication in the event of a disaster.
How will you address the digital divide and emerging Internet issues in your country?
In collaboration with the NTRC, the Dominica Chapter will tap into the expertise of its members to deploy two community WiFi projects in rural parts of the island where Internet access has not been restored since the passage of Hurricane Maria. This includes training and education of local community members in the deployment and maintenance of these networks.
How the Chapter’s activities will help achieve the SDGs goals?
Addressing policies that govern the deployment of community networks is in line with SDG 11.B, to “substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels.”
What are the plans to increase the Chapter membership?
Increase web presence with the launch of the website by the end of the second quarter of 2019, as well as the creation of social media accounts, circulation of newsletters, and public outreach.
Wishing the new Dominica Chapter all the very best!