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.”