LACNIC Internet Community Newsletter
by Raúl Echeberría
Among these problems, an important and pressing issue is the exhaustion of IPv4 protocol addresses.
As we know, the format of the addresses that are assigned to the resources currently available on the Internet, such as for example websites, is the system called IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) which has the limited possibility of assigning approximately 4.3 billion addresses.
As we announced at the meeting held at Isla Margarita as well as at the press conference held on June 28, current growth rates indicate that the stock of IPv4 addresses will be exhausted within four years.
Fortunately, we have an anticipated solution which we must begin to be implement immediately: IPv6, a protocol that supports an immensly major number of addresses, in a 128 bit format.
In this issue of the LACNIC newsletter Mariela Rocha contributes two articles on this subject.
Traffic continues to grow as does residential broadband width. Now it is possible to transfer a feature-length film in barely seconds, as is already happening in Japan and other countries.
Forty-five percent of this traffic is made up by circulating text and image packets, while 38% corresponds to port-to-port downloads. Thirty-six percent is utilized for video broadcasting, and 5% corresponds to audio transfer.
This new reality faces us with the need to implement strategies that will improve systems protection during content download. Randy Bush has contributed an interesting piece on security.
Current Internet users generate an amount of information equal to the amount of information they consumed in the past. Blogs, YouTube, Google, and thousands of viral social networking applications are just some of the elements that are promoting the transition of the user/consumer towards a production environment.
Internet has been vital in the preparation of business models. Within this framework, the region now has the opportunity to advance towards eliminating social divides with the strategic help of technology. José Luis Machinea, general secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), has contributed a special article on this subject to the LACNIC Newsletter: “Latin America and the Caribbean Face a Time of Challenges and Opportunities.”
Internet figures are quite impressive: there are almost 1.2 billion users, representing little over 17% of the global population. Considering the period 2000-2007, these figures represent a 220% growth of the number of people that are connected.
Another interesting fact emerges when we analyze how Internet connection has evolved geographically. A decade ago, the majority group was located in North America, while today the lead has been taken by Asia with 36% of users, followed by Europe with 28%, North America with 20%, and in fourth place Latin America with 9.5%.
Today there are approximately 2.5 billion mobile telephones operating worldwide. We estimate that in a couple of years this figure will climb to 3 billion, and Latin America is exhibiting a rate of growth that rivals the fastest in the world. For many individuals their first approximation to the Internet will be through these mobile devices. The use of mobile telephones will have a key role as a means for conducting business transactions, and this will imply new developments in e-government and social networking applications.
Perhaps this will be the means that will allow us to bring together with greater speed our region that has nevertheless been kept separated because of language and different cultural divides.
The recent agreement signed by our institution with ARIN in order to bring together and facilitate the growth of the Caribbean region is reflected in this issue in the exclusive article contributed by Bernadette Lewis, CEO of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union.
This diverse and accelerated growth poses the need to create standards that will stand the test of time and also bring together institutions to cooperate towards the objective of achieving development to which we are all committed.