The challenge for the next three years is to increase the number of Internet users in the region by 50%.
The main Internet organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean have concentrated their activities at the Internet Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean, the most important of its kind at international level. The Hub’s headquarters are located in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, and are home to the six most relevant Internet organizations of the region. Its goal is to help build synergies, support development, and offer better services to the Latin American and Caribbean community, involving an ever-growing number of stakeholders.
The Internet Hub hosts the headquarters of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), the regional chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC), the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks (CLARA), the Latin American and Caribbean Association of Country Code Top Level Domain Administrators (LacTLD), the Latin American and Caribbean Federation for Internet and Electronic Commerce (eCOM L@C), and the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Exchange Point Operators Association (LAC-IX).
Raúl Echeberría, LACNIC’s Executive Director and Chair of the Internet Society’s Board of Trustees, noted that, because of its characteristics and the six organizations it has brought together, the building has become a regional Internet hub and will strengthen the sector’s institutionality. “It is a modern building designed to create a dynamic and interactive working environment equipped to the highest technological standards.” “Critical services that are essential to the operation of the Internet in the region are provided from this building; therefore, having proper stability and security infrastructure is a necessity,” he added.
The official opening ceremony for the Internet Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean took place on Tuesday, 17 April and was attended by representatives of the most important Internet organizations and entities of Latin America and the Caribbean, who travelled specially for the occasion from around the continent, as well as by members of the Uruguayan government, including the country’s president, José Mujica.
The continent is undergoing a process of “economic growth as it has never experienced before. This is Latin America’s decade and, in order to continue to grow, we need the Internet,” said Raúl Echeberría. Concentrating the six major Internet organizations in one location makes it easier for these organizations to coordinate with each other, strengthens the sector’s institutionality and its ability to contribute to Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Latin America and the Caribbean currently has a 40% Internet penetration rate, which represents approximately 240 million users. Projections anticipate that this penetration rate will increase 60% by 2015, adding 120 million new users. “We have sought to work with all regional organizations and governments to articulate policies that will guarantee that the more than 600 million people of Latin America can have access to the Internet. It is in this direction that we must direct our best efforts,” concluded LACNIC’s Executive Director.