LACNIC Has Played a Key Role in IPv6 Deployment

20/12/2017

Wardner Maia, Chairman of the LACNIC Board, highlighted the work LACNIC has accomplished in promoting IPv6 adoption and deployment – the Latin American and Caribbean region is now a leader in readiness for the v6 Internet protocol, with 4 out of 10 networks ready to carry IPv6 traffic.

In his review of the year that is coming to an end, Maia emphasized that 2017 was a year of consolidation for the Regional Internet Registry, with a new “fairer, more effective and resilient” membership scheme that will allow greater sustainability of the Internet model in Latin America and the Caribbean. This year LACNIC surpassed 7,200 members, with a growth of 23% as compared to 2016.

As for the future, the Chairman of the LACNIC Board noted that those who cannot access the Internet – almost half of the population – weigh heavily on the organization and called for reconciling the work towards the inclusion of all people with the construction of a “more efficient” Internet. 

LACNIC recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. What is your assessment of the work carried out during these years in managing number resources and how do you think it has impacted the Latin America and Caribbean Internet ecosystem?

As we all know, the main reason why LACNIC was created 15 years ago was to manage Internet number resources for our region. Since then, the organization has been perfecting ways to fulfill its mission in a democratic and transparent manner, always seeking to encourage and increase community engagement. A lot of work has been done over the past 15 years and we can say that the key mission of the organization was and continues to be fulfilled.

Throughout this time, however, LACNIC has not limited itself to this task. Instead, the organization has also worked on other fronts, among them the tireless promotion of IPv6 adoption and different training initiatives, always aiming to lead the strengthening of an open, stable and secure Internet in the region.

All our work has always been done in tune with other organizations that are part of our ecosystem. In this sense, Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean is a symbol of this integration and way of working.

This year has been intense for LACNIC, as it has faced a variety of challenges. As Chairman of the organization, which events would you highlight as the most relevant of 2017?

This was a year of intense work aimed at consolidating our organization in every sense. The new membership scheme was approved during the May event. The goal of these changes was to balance the different member categories and make our system fairer, more effective and resilient. These modifications will allow greater sustainability of our model for many years.

The year 2017 was perhaps one of the years in which we worked most intensively on the promotion of IPv6. We did it throughout our region, although with an emphasis on the countries showing the lowest levels of IPv6 readiness. This has resulted in a new scenario: several countries have reached significant levels of IPv6 adoption and several others are already starting the process.  

What actions are being implemented to encourage members to participate in the different activities carried out by LACNIC?   

Among our various actions aimed at increasing community participation and engagement, an initiative I would like to highlight is our visits to members in countries with low levels of participation. Likewise, we also continue to organize LACNIC On The Move events to bring the organization closer to its members and to the Internet community in general.

Another action worth noting is the creation of Mi LACNIC, a platform designed for LACNIC members to manage their number resources from a single place. Similarly, we increased the number of training courses offered both in person and online through the LACNIC CAMPUS, as well as the number of sponsorship opportunities to allow our members to attend in-person events.

All of these initiatives have definitely contributed to the increase in our membership base, which this year reached 7,000 members. 

IPv6 is the protocol that replaces IPv4, which is nearing exhaustion. The LACNIC region is a leader in IPv6 readiness, as 4 out of 10 networks in our region are ready to handle IPv6 traffic, almost double that of any other region worldwide. IPv6 traffic in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown significantly and now more than 10 countries have more than 5% of their traffic over IPv6. In what ways do you think LACNIC is contributing so that this number will continue to grow?

The numbers for Latin America and the Caribbean are undoubtedly very interesting when compared to those of other parts of the world. Without wishing to sound pretentious, I am fully convinced that LACNIC played and continues to play a key role in this process.

LACNIC has been implementing training efforts in the region since 2005, including webinars and face-to-face courses. A highlight of these efforts was the creation of the LACNIC Campus, where almost 3,500 people received training in 2017 alone.

What challenges do you think the region will face in the coming years?

Our region is very diverse in terms of its peoples, cultures, and socioeconomic realities. As a result of the latter, Internet development and quality vary immensely.

When we look back and see how much has been achieved in recent years in terms of digital inclusion we feel proud. Yet when we realize that almost half of the population still does not have access to the Internet, we feel the responsibility to continue to work.

On the other hand, we see a world in constant transformation and incredible technological evolutions that make it necessary to continue to search for a more efficient and capable Internet.

It is true that reconciling the work towards the inclusion of all people with the construction of this more efficient Internet which remains true to the principles of an open, secure and stable network is a task for many stakeholders, among which LACNIC will always be willing to play a relevant role. 

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