Community involvement in LACNIC policies

30/06/2015

Nicolas Antoniello has chaired LACNIC’s Public Policy Forum for six years. During this time, he has witnessed the continued growth of the region’s Internet community, particularly during the past few years. In his opinion, this has resulted in increased participation in various forums and greater Internet policies debate.

Antoniello – a young engineer who obtained his degree from the School of Engineering of the Uruguayan Universidad de la Republica – believes that there is growing interest among the community and that a larger number of proposals is being submitted in order to better adapt to the new regional and global realities.

Speaking to LACNIC News, Antoniello stressed that the community’s motivation and interest should be constantly encouraged. “If the community’s motivation and interest are encouraged and sustained, I believe actions will follow,” he said.

What motivated you to apply for the position of Forum Chair back in the day?  Were you already an active member of the community when your name was submitted for consideration?

Six years ago, I was working as Network Operations Center Engineer with ANTEL (Uruguay’s state-owned telecommunications company, one of LACNIC’s members). I’ve been participating in LACNIC events and other forums practically since the Regional Registry was created back in 2002. I have also participated in other regions’ policy and technical forums. I’ve always been interested in – and motivated by – the multistakeholder model for the development and implementation of regional and global public Internet policy.

In 2008, I communicated to ANTEL’s International Relations Department that I wanted to run for chair of the LACNIC public policy forum and they submitted my nomination. I served as Forum Chair until this year. I will, of course, continue to be actively involved in different forums and various other activities.

How would you describe our regional community? In your opinion, does the community take an active and participative stand in the policy development process?

Although not the youngest, our community and region are still relatively young in terms of access and connectivity. I believe this is reflected in our degree of participation in forums and other activities. Despite its young age, our community has developed quickly over the last few years, as evidenced by various Internet access and penetration indicators as well as by our level of commitment and participation. Another thing I’d like to add is that the policy development process includes periods of more or less intense activity; in any case, in general, I’m now noticing greater interest and an increased number of proposals being submitted by the community, always in line with the times at regional and global level.

Is there any aspect of our community that you’d like to change?

I think there’s always room for improvement. Communities aren’t static; instead, they evolve and change from time to time. I’d say that the community should not loose is its motivation and interest – something we should constantly encourage. If the community’s motivation and interest are encouraged and sustained, I believe actions will follow – sometimes driven by just a few individuals, but later extended and replicated throughout the region. This is the case in every region; ours is no exception.

What has the experience of chairing the Public Policy Forum contributed to you personally and professionally?

I have learned so much! It has provided me with a technical and political understanding of how the Internet works at regional and global level. It has provided me with a taste for a working methodology in which everyone can participate. It has helped me understand that, regardless of their various working methodologies, each actor complements the others within this ecosystem of which our community, particularly our Public Policy
Forum, is an essential part.

Chairing the forum teaches you so many things, among them how to talk to people and address a large audience. I’ve learned and found something positive in both the successes as well as in the mistakes we inevitably make.

On a more personal level, it has given me the opportunity to meet many people, some of whom I now consider my friends or, as we say, “part of the Internet family” – in our region as well as in the four others. As I leave my role as moderator, I am happy and grateful that the community trusted and supported the tiny grain of sand I may have been able to contribute.

Would you encourage someone to chair the Public Policy Forum? Why?

The answer to the first question is obviously yes. I strongly encourage anyone who is interested and passionate about these issues to run for Chair of the LACNIC Public Policy Forum. As any other task, it requires dedication and commitment, but it is extremely rewarding. You learn a lot, more than I can mention here. It is definitely a very pleasant task and a great community. The reasons and motives for my recommendation are the ones I mentioned above, as well as many others I will surely think of later.

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