The year 2010 is almost behind us and we are once again faced with the illusion that time must come to an end. Luckily, we immediately realize that as one year ends a new one begins, one that brings with it new goals and challenges.
For LACNIC this has been another great year, as we have made major progress in relation to our strategic goals.
Eight years after beginning its operations, LACNIC is a financially sound and stable organization. Though we have always prioritized using our income for services and activities in support of Internet development within the region, we are also aware of how important it is for an organization that offers a critical service to the community to be financially sound and capable of supporting itself. We have achieved a good balance between providing services and consolidating a stable and financially sound organization.
Our membership continues to grow as a result of the sustained growth of the Internet in our region. Being able to say that the top 1524 Internet service providers of the region are members of our organization fills us with pride.
During 2010 we have devoted much time and energy to analyzing how to improve our services and better serve our clients/members. In 2011 we will certainly see some changes in this sense and, although the studies we have conducted show that our clients have a very high opinion of LACNIC, we hope not only to maintain these satisfaction indicators but also to improve them.
Much work has also been done on internal issues such as human resource management or the availability of adequate software tools, key factors for having an agile, modern organization capable of responding to changing environmental conditions.
We have strengthened our Research and Development unit, hiring new staff and adopting a more formal approach to projects. This unit will continue to grow in 2011, as we believe it is an area from which we can make valuable contributions to our community.
To this we must add the continuity of our AMPARO and FRIDA programs. This year the FRIDA program focused mainly on identifying and rewarding initiatives that contributed to achieving the regional information society development goals set out in the eLAC regional plan of action, which was very well received and made a very positive impact within the region.
In turn, the AMPARO program has not only made a major contribution to capacity building for handling computer security incidents but it has also provided us with a new opportunity for interacting with the community, opportunity which has been extremely valuable both for LACNIC as well as for the large number of professionals that have somehow or other participated in the program's activities.
The two meetings organized this year by LACNIC – one in Curaçao, in May, one in Sao Paulo, in October – were very successful. Organizing a second LACNIC meeting in 2010 together with LACNOG was a great idea that allowed synergies to be generated between everyone interested in participating in these forums. In view of the success of these two meetings, in 2011 LACNIC will once again organize two meetings.
We have had a very active role both at regional as well as at international level. We actively participated in, and contributed to, forums such as the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission, CITEL, eLAC, the ITU, the Internet Governance Forum, and every other setting where we found the opportunity to cooperate with different stakeholders.
The Internet is constantly undergoing changes, one of which is the development of a set of new technologies that will allow certifying Internet numbering resources (IP addresses and autonomous system numbers) and improve the routing system, thus contributing to greater Internet security and stability. Together with the other regional registries, LACNIC has worked hard on this project known as RPKI and we are now ready to go into production with a project that will be one of the highlights of 2011.
Another noteworthy issue is the imminent exhaustion of the central pool of IPv4 addresses (administrated by the IANA) and the promotion of IPv6. This year we have once again invested much effort and resources to continue promoting IPv6, among other actions, by making presentations, conducting courses, developing metrics and publishing reports. We've taken our message everywhere we've had the opportunity to do so.
Significant advances can be seen in the region in terms of IPv6 adoption, but there is still a lot of work to be done. We are facing the most important technological change that the Internet has witnessed in all of its history. Our work at regional level has been characterized mainly by the work carried out for promoting IPv6 with different stakeholders, while at global level we have focused on defending the interests of our region during this time of critical changes.
The central pool of IPv4 addresses will be exhausted in March 2011 at the latest. LACNIC will then likely still have enough IPv4 addresses to satisfy the region's needs for a couple more years, but it is obvious that there are not enough IPv4 addresses to support the Internet growth expected for the region in the next five years. During that time it is projected that regional Internet penetration will increase from an average of 35% to 60-70%, and this will not be possible with IPv4 only. For this reason, we urge all Internet service providers, content providers, large network administrators, and government infrastructure administrators to implement immediate measures towards IPv6 adoption.
During 2011 our work will be strongly marked by the exhaustion of the central pool of IPv4 addresses and the adoption of IPv6. In this sense, LACNIC will spare no efforts to ensure that this transition takes place as harmoniously and seamlessly as possible.
According to studies conducted by specialized research teams and companies, at the closing of 2010 regional opinion leaders perceive LACNIC as a being influential and relevant within the debate on policies and the Internet; even more important, this influence is perceived as being very positive.
Since its very origin, LACNIC was conceived and later created not only as an organization that would provide bureaucratic IP address administration services, but also with the goal of articulating cooperation efforts within the region in order to promote Internet development and stability. We believe that today LACNIC faithfully embodies the spirit of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet pioneers who had this vision.
The community’s recognition fills us with satisfaction and encourages us to redouble our commitment to continue working in the same direction.
I wish you all a happy 2011 and thank you for the constant support you provide us so that we may continue doing our job!