Internet Society Newspaper V2 N1 1993

A Latin American and Caribbean Update

By Daniel Pimienta,
[email protected]
Redalc Projects Manager


The process of regional integration has been slowly progressing in the 1992; much faster has been the improvements in term of sub regions. If the very uneven level of institutionalization of the various national initiatives and the weaknesses in the coordination between the different actors of the scientific information circuits (producers, consumers, carriers) makes the path long and difficult toward a real regional network integration, the level of mutual knowledge and cooperation between the people involved in networking has made a spectacular jump in the 1992.

**** The Second Regional Networking Meeting was held November 92 in Guadalajara (Mexico). It was characterized by an almost exhaustive representation of national network initiatives and a more reduced international presence (OAS, UNDP, NSF, and SELA as observer), as compared to the first meeting in Rio de Janeiro. The agreed final text shows a lot of progresses toward the regional perspective, and definition of the key strategical objectives for the region. Next meeting, scheduled to be held in Venezuela, October 93, should show the maturation of sub-regional and regional efforts.

**** The Latin American Networking School of Merida (Venezuela) confirmed the promises demonstrated during the previous Rio de Janeiro Workshop. The regional ability to provide a comprehensive and high quality technical training program is no more to be proved. A possible domain of improvement could be in completing the curriculum with an introductory perspective which could sensitive the future network specialists on users, services and the social impact of networks.

**** The REDALC regional project feasibility study (EEC funding, Union Latina, Unesco and Acal partners) was completed by September 92. Follow-on actions are being designed and will be soon negotiated with regional counterparts. The REDALC team is also putting together, in collaboration with various partners, a plan for the creation of the Haitian network before the end of 93.


Practically, the only country left out of reach from Internet is Haiti. The countries with an older experience are starting to get organized for network applications, while the younger are trying to consolidate their user bases.

**** The Peruvian net continues to demonstrate its model value in bringing the focus toward user support and services and leading regional actions. March 93, the Networking School will offer regional services in Lima. The event celebrates the first birthday of the Peruvian network and is organized together with various subregional or national activities.

**** Two important improvements in term of international connectivity have been made in Costa Rica and Ecuador where direct Internet connections has been set-up. Both use 64kbps point to point satellite (PAS-1) connections to the Sprint PanamSat teleport in Homestead, FL and optical fiber from Sprint to NSF, Washington DC. Both are offered to be shared by the different national initiatives, respectively by Universidad de Costa Rica and Banco del Pacifico (in the last case it is a subset of a business bandwidth).

**** Venezuela is keeping a high user growth rate, and improving its network architecture with multi protocol support.

**** Cuba network (CENIAI) growth in users and services remains impressive: more than 2000 users are now connected. CENIAI have interesting assets to show in INET93: the synergistic relation between telecom authorities and research networks, the special quality of user support, and the focus in applications. Internet Society have to work to make possible the representation of CENIAI in San Francisco.