Call made for development of Dominican cyber content

Nesty wants more training in Dominica's cyber capacity
Nesty wants more training in Dominica’s cyber capacity

Director of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Craig Nesty, has called for further investment in the development of the Dominican cyber content.

At the opening ceremony of a National Broadband Consultation on Tuesday morning, he stated that equal investment must be made in training and capacity-building in local content and network deployment.

“We need to invest equally in the amount of training and capacity-building around our content, as we do in network deployment… I cannot envision one year where we’ve invested $1-million in the training of ICT. When you look at the budget put aside for telecoms, it was .133% of the overall national budget,” he noted. “But, with that type of focus on the development of content and the development of applications, no wonder broadband is seen as irrelevant for the masses in Dominica.”

Nesty said that while connectivity is not an issue in Dominica, this asset must be put toward the creation of local content, in more ways than one, to foster more productive discussions on broadband.

“We have immense connectivity. What we lack is the immense ability to leverage that technical connectivity locally,” he remarked. “And, I think any discussion around broadband will fail, unless we deal with content and the creation of content, locally. And, content doesn’t necessarily have to come from the computer scientists. If you’re a blogger, if you’re a writer, you can create content. And, I think our focus, really, as small island developing states, is to find a way to have more content created.”

He commented that Dominicans do not use the internet to its full potential, thus creating a poor, consumer-based society. He encouraged a “paradigm shift” in society, to generate more producers and less consumers.

“We’re essentially a consumer-based society, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The internet can change that, but we have not leverage that ability. The internet supposed to make it easy for us to enter into business. The internet supposed to reduce the barriers for entry into business, making it so that anybody with a computer can provide an application and provide opportunities for revenue growth. But, our focus has, sadly, not been in that area of the internet,” Nesty lamented. “…unless we have Dominican content running on the internet, we have not really joined the internet—we’ve just amplified our consumer behaviour, to buy more stuff overseas, and bring it to Dominica, to send more capital out of the island and become poorer.”

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28 Comments

  1. April 20, 2016

    Good call.

  2. Dorival John
    April 20, 2016

    Something has to be done about wireless connection in Dominica.

    Last Sunday it took me FIVE HOURS to upload a FOUR-MINUTE video using my data plan on a “4G” network of a major telecommunication company here. And that was in Roseau.

    I know WIFI works fine but the so-called 4G we have here, is nonsense.

  3. April 20, 2016

    I have been an Internet developer for 22 years. I’ve worked with some of the biggest media companies in the world. I started like every entrepreneur; surfing around and learning. When I started I had a 2800 baud modem – the comment above about “waiting” for faster Internet is a symptom of society. You really want to wait to learn and develop? Fine. Be my guest; whilst you wait I’ll make another company.

    To “ecila” he is showing you.

    So, I challenge every young person in Dominica with a computer. Open a text file and type hello world! … save it onto your computer as my-first-web-page.html .. Open your browser and select “open file”… open your document and you will see the fruits of your work… Yes! Your first web page…. now go to Google and search for how to write HTML – you are now on your way.. learn, engage and create. Trust me, there is only a few steps between this and making the next DNO or facebook app. You are your own teacher.

    • April 20, 2016

      Tom

      I agree with you totally. Your sentiments are exactly in line with what I believe. Please get in touch with me. I would love to work with you. My email address is cnesty@ectel.int

    • Dante Jones
      April 20, 2016

      How do you handle web services and online content management platforms in a country where the average broadband is still 2mbps. We’re not in 1999 anymore – web development and especially development of media content such as video and audio require high broadband capabilities if you are going to compete with people in countries where that is the norm.

      What you’re saying is fine and all but say for example someone here wants to make videos showing how to do web development with a more caribbean tone so more caribbean people can feel into the web development trend, how do they manage uploading high fidelity videos with service bills that are so high for the kind of bandwidth on a residential line that people in developed countries have on mobile.

  4. Michael Norris
    April 19, 2016

    Yea, yea. Indeed, Craig Nesty! Important points raised here.

  5. April 19, 2016

    I’m all for people to feel empowered to create their own online content, but the case definitely needs to be made why promoting this would necessarily be a responsibility of government rather than civil society. That’s doubly so when infrastructure, education, and healthcare are all pressing concerns.

    • Dante Jones
      April 19, 2016

      It shouldn’t be just government but they have their part to play in ensuring that the infrastructure and resources are in place for people to take advantage of. Now the bigger problem is that he culture in dominica is just not ready for the internet age. There are some pioneers old and young making breakthroughs but for the most part our laid back culture is causing us to be left in the dust

    • April 20, 2016

      Hi Steve,

      I work for the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) and while I agree with you that civil society needs to be involved. It does not preclude the regulator from getting involved and focusing on elements that would improve the broadband ecosystem in Dominica. Further Civil Society in Dominica has not taken up the mantle.

      The NTRC sees it necessary to not only regulate the sector but facilitate the growth of the sector and we’ve done this through the Universal Service Fund where we have caused the deployment of networks to rural areas. We also recognize through gap analyses and needs assessment surveys that show one of the main issue that inhibits the uptake of broadband is the fact that broadband is not relevant to community.

      In light of this the NTRC has been actively trying to address this. We need all the help we can get and if You would like to make any kind of contribution please contact me at cnesty@ectel.int

      • April 20, 2016

        Hi Craig,

        Thank you for your thoughtful response. Now that I understand from a follow up article that there may be USF money available, I can better understand why you are calling for this. I’ll reach out soon.

  6. Justice
    April 19, 2016

    Before we get there we need fast and reliable internet service. We need a minimum of 1 MB/second download speed which is not yet received ( the highest I have seen is 0.7 MB/second). We also need to see a stable system, There are too many drops/breakdowns. Currency trading (Forex), for example, is only for the brave and those who don’t mind loosing money.

    • Jayson
      April 19, 2016

      You’re too busy scalping that’s why you’re not making money…stop blaming it on your service provider…!

    • April 20, 2016

      Hi Justice,

      I believe they need to go hand in hand. Right now we have an asymmetrical development of the broadband ecosystem. We have a lot of focus on infrastructure and regulations but very little on content.

      LIME’s minimum download speed is 2Mbps and Digicel’s is 8 Mbps. I have internet in Castle Comfort and its very stable. In fact I receive all my content over the internet and do not have cable TV. If the internet drops in your area and you’ve not been able to solve the problem and can show that you have tried to do so in good faith for at least 30 days with your provider, you can file an official dispute with the NTRC. We will investigate your case and provide a binding ruling. Your area may even be an area where USF funds could be used to alleviate the broadband issues you face.

      So Justice, you do have a channel to resolution to ensure that your service meets the minimum bandwidth speeds and quality of service.

      • Annon
        April 20, 2016

        This is great info Craig, by your prompt responses I’m glad you are engaging us in this. This is definitely grassroots, information is gold, and I think you are looking out for Dominica. Also thanks to DNO I think you will reach even more of us in your efforts.

  7. Just Saying
    April 19, 2016

    False/misleading statements … ” The internet supposed to make it easy for us to enter into business. The internet supposed to reduce the barriers for entry into business…”
    The internet is not “supposed to”, because the internet in and of itself cannot do this. It can provide an avenue that can allow growth/expansion of businesses. Are all the laws and guidance policies for opening a business in Dominica available readily on the internet? Is there a site that tells folks how to do so on the internet? If so, great! If not, then how is the internet supposed to make it easier to enter into business when the needed information may not be accessible on the internet? One expects these people to help educate the masses not full their head with nonsense, and continue the ignorance on many levels. Watch y’alls words. Real questions though … What is this man’s job anyway? What has he and his organization done actively to accomplish the goals he seem to suggest?

    • April 20, 2016

      I agree with you that the statements may have been a bit misleading and the internet in of itself cannot do this. However if you couple the internet with peoples entrepreneurial spirit and tenacity to create then you will be surprised at the level of innovation that will come forth. Unfortunately this has been absent in Dominica or it has not be done at a sufficient level. That’s why the NTRC facilitated the first mobile apps workshop in Dominica which subsequently led to 11 teams from Dominica attending the digiJam program in Jamaica to pitch and further develop their ideas.

      We are also now partnering with UWI consulting to help local entrepreneurs move their concepts from ideation to market. please visit our website, http://www.ntrcdom.org and our NTRC facebook page and you should get a sense of what we do. I agree with you that we spend very little time in marketing, awareness and promotion. Please contact me if you can help at cnesty@ectel.int

  8. watchdog
    April 19, 2016

    But what is Nesty’s every day role nuh? What does he do???? Seems everytime one of these consultations, workshops ec he shows up. Why does the NTRC ave to convince the Govt that we have to be providing content? That is a given!!

    Guess you have to justify your paycheck Mr. Nesty so you gotta say these things and give the impression that you actually does something on a daily basis..

    • Jayson
      April 19, 2016

      Sorry, but i really can’t agree with you on that point.

      There are a lot of people that are good talkers behind a mic but have NO practical knowledge of the industry they work in. Nesty IS NOT one of them.

      Nesty is one of the most intelligent persons I’ve come across in my lifetime, and in my opinion, would pretty much master any managerial role he’s placed in.

      Not trying to sing his praises too highly, but he reminds me a little bit of that movie ‘limitless’…

    • Vidran
      April 20, 2016

      @ Watchdog Nesty is the Executive Director of the NTRC who has and continue to create avenues for Dominica’s youth to train in Mobile Applications Development. In 2013, under his management. the NTRC ran a workshop and trained 45 young people in the development of Mobile Applications. As a result,, Dominica was able to field the largest contingent at DigiJam the following year.

      Presently, The NTRC has partnered with UWI Consulting to run a similar training (PitchIT Caribbean) that provides Dominican youth with training and opportunity to pitch to venture capitalist for funding..

    • April 20, 2016

      Really please check out our website at http://www.ntrcdom.org and like our facebook page. The speech is not to convince the government of anything. However I am glad that it has sparked this level debate. I am also glad that you agree its a given. What I also hope you recognize is the shear dearth of local content and local apps that currently exists in Dominica. If you have expertise in this area or any other area that would lead to the advancement and promotion of broadband please feel free to contact me at cnesty@ectel.int

  9. lightbulb
    April 19, 2016

    my boy what you talking about nuh,
    comeseetv have so many streams, and people always getting buffering issues.

  10. REAL!!!!
    April 19, 2016

    What Nesty is saying is very true….But if he as a major stakeholder cannot convince the GOVT that we need a be a content producing nations rather than a consumer to drive economy benefit in that space….then he has failed.

    Did the NTRC provide a roadmap of how the $1M would be spent in charting the way for a content producer environment and the reward/ return on investment?

  11. Stealth Critique
    April 19, 2016

    > connectivity is not an issue in Dominica

    Of course it is.

    • Dante Jones
      April 19, 2016

      I was like wut?

      > We have immense connectivity

      cool story bro

    • April 20, 2016

      Are you basing that on Quality of Service metrics or any other data. Please contact me with the information if you have any.

  12. AAGabriel
    April 19, 2016

    I wonder sometimes, do these guys actually know what they are talking about. What is this guy saying? I guess at the end of the day they try to justify their existence. I would like to see some of you guys work in similar positions in Europe or the US. None of you would last longer than a week. Square pegs in round holes!!

  13. ecila egroeg
    April 19, 2016

    Enough talk show us, be a model.

    • April 20, 2016

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I have an app in mind that I’m currently working on. You have fueled this flame immensely. I too hate people who talk about things but don’t lead by example.

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