By Malisa Richards
“The creation of the Internet Society Guyana Chapter comes at a critical time in Guyana where international issues, such as the .amazon TLD, net neutrality, internet governance, connecting the next billion users and Guyanese issues, such as liberalization of the telecommunication sector becomes paramount in national and international dialogues” Hinds said.
Guyanese Internet users with an interest in internet policy and governance issues now have a local organization to address their interest. The Internet Society, a leading advocate for the open development, evolution and use of the Internet, announced on October 10 at the official launch of the local Chapter that it was happy to finally have Guyana onboard. It was, the wider body said, a major development for the telecommunication sector in Guyana since we are currently in the process of liberalizing the telecommunication sector.
The local Chapter came on board simultaneously with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chapter, increasing the number of English-speaking Chapters in the region to five.
The core values of Internet Society include creating a community of better-informed individuals and affording increased access to the wide variety of social, economic and political benefits which the internet affords.
Internet Week Guyana was hosted by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, in collaboration with Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). Tuesday October 10, 2017 was designated Internet Governance Day. On that date the Internet Society Guyana Chapter was officially launched with a membership of 28 members. At the end of the week-long event, the membership increased from 28 to 41, attesting to the fact that the organization had been moderately successful in its outreach initiative.
Attending this event was Mr. Shernon Osepa, Manager, Regional Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society and Miss Nancy Quiros, Manager of Chapter Development in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society. Mr. Lance Hinds is currently serving as the chapter’s Interim Chairman; Miss Jennifer Britton – Interim Executive Vice Chairman; Mr. Lenandlar Singh – Interim Administrative Vice Chairman, Mrs. Yvette Philander – Interim Financial Officer / Treasurer and Miss Malisa Richards – Interim Secretary.
The Internet Society Guyana Chapter is a non-governmental organization. In order to become a member individuals must first register with Internet Society as a Global Member, must be a citizen of Co-operative Republic of Guyana, by birth or naturalization, though not necessarily living in Guyana and must be a member of the ISOC Guyana Chapter. The link to become a global member is: https://portal.isoc.org/partner/ signup?PartnerID=2. There is no cost associated either with registration as a global member with Internet Society or becoming a member of the local chapter. Initial discussions with Internet Society to form the local chapter commenced in 2012.
While executing the work of the Internet Society at the local level, the local Chapter engages its members in activities aimed at advancing their professional development, facilitating local ICT professionals, supporting IT-related education in Guyana and encouraging innovation and creativity.
The Internet Society Guyana Chapter seeks to provide a national voice on policy-related issues and to advocate for Guyana’s IT-related priorities at the international level. In the near future, it will develop public policy as well as educational programmes to help forge a strong national community on Internet governance. A website is currently under development. Persons interested in the work of the society should communicate with us by e-mail email@example.com.