The Development of the LACNIC Community

A History Under Construction

This document seeks to capture the movement of regional actors that allowed the creation of LACNIC and its subsequent consolidation. This process began two decades ago, when the Internet was already much more than a technology used by the scientific sector or the military in the developed North, which made it necessary to accompany its deployment not only with infrastructure but also with organizations and actors committed to the development of an open, sustainable and interoperable Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean, based not only on technical principles but also on political and institutional considerations. This account has been written as a narrative with multiple characters and stories that have become milestones for the regional community of Internet institutions. More than fifteen years after the formal creation of LACNIC, it is essential to document and trace the origins of the organization, its ecosystem, its characters, and the key topics that crosscut its agenda.

This project also seeks to create a space to capture the memories of the persons who have led and supported the LACNIC initiative. These memories and the facts that support them are the heritage of those who dreamed and projected the presence of a technology that would open the doors to human, economic and socio-cultural development throughout the region. The Internet is first and foremost made up of people, and the individuals on which this work is largely based had the early conviction that, even though the Internet is a global network, it works better and favors greater growth and development when supported by organizations that are closer to the needs of the people they must serve.

Several questions have guided this work from its inception, including the research phase through to its elaboration. What was the process for the creation of LACNIC like? Why did it work? Which factors were critical for the success of this project which was much more than simply a technical dream? How were expectations, commitments and power relationships balanced? How was the multistakeholder Internet governance model deployed in the region? What aspects are critical for Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean? A fundamental premise guiding this work is that it seeks to provide the basis for understanding the interactions and exchanges between the different factors associated with leadership, existing institutional capabilities and efforts for the consolidation of an international Internet governance framework during the years of consolidation and expansion of the LACNIC project. Other organizations that led the maturation of activities focusing on Internet resources also participated in this process, among them LACTLD, academic networks around the region, and RedClara. Other organizations such as ICANN and ISOC then brought a specific regional point of view to the initiative. All of this contributed to the definition of Internet features with an identity that takes into account the peculiarities of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The book is structured in five chapters: Introduction and Genealogy, The Construction of LACNIC and Its Community, Building a Participative Model in the Region, Strengthening of Capabilities for a Better Regional Internet and, finally, The Construction of the Future of Institutions in LAC.