Sebastián Bellagamba: “LACNIC amalgamates the different spaces that exist in the region”
Known for his constant defense of multistakeholder participation in global Internet governance, Sebastián Bellagamba is a relevant actor in the regional Internet community.
As Internet Society (ISOC) Regional Bureau Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bellagamba makes his voice heard at regional and international forums.
With 25 years of experience in the world of the Information Society, Bellagamba highlights that LACNIC was able to amalgamate the different Internet-related spaces that existed in the region and reduced existing tensions among various stakeholder groups. groups. In Bellagamba’s opinion, LACNIC brings together the different actors because the organization serves as an umbrella under which the different actors can feel comfortable.
What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?
Fifteen years ago, in 2002, I had been in the Internet market for about 10 years.
At the time, I was president of CABASE (the Argentine Internet Chamber), I was working with an ISP in Argentina, and also collaborating with the Internet Society chapter.
When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?
CABASE is one of LACNIC’s founding members. I was not directly involved in the creation of LACNIC, but the people I was working with at the Chamber were. This means I have been directly or indirectly involved with LACNIC even before the organization existed, since the early days of its creation process.
What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations?
I was a member of LACNIC’s Fiscal Commission. I also served as LACNIC community representative to the ASO AC (Address Supporting Organization Address Council); in fact, I chaired the Address Council for a few years. I believe I served two terms – three or four years – on the Fiscal Commission, after which, during the LACNIC 7 event in Costa Rica, I was elected to the ASO to replace Raimundo Becca who had been elected to the ICANN Board.
I was very much involved in the early days of the organization and my expectations were always met and exceeded. The creation of LACNIC and developing a regional community was a project many people wanted to bring to life.
What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?
The LACNIC community has been essential, particularly in promoting Internet development throughout the region.
I remember the first block of IP addresses I managed was provided by ARIN, before LACNIC existed. This was quite a different experience, as our interaction with ARIN was strictly limited to the assignment of the block.
However, in addition to providing number resources, LACNIC provided us with the opportunity to get to know and interact with different stakeholders, share best practices, exchange knowledge… All in all, it was a much richer experience. When LACNIC was created, we all began to understand the entire process and were able to better use our resources to continue to grow. That’s when the community started to grow and become involved in the resource assignment process.
What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?
In my opinion, a key aspect of LACNIC’s creation has to do with establishing cooperation mechanisms among the community, in other words, generating a community that collaborates. The process for creating LACNIC was not an easy one. Looking back, I think that the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community was not as collaborative back in the ’90s. It seems to me there were more tensions, more interests, more sectors; the community was more fragmented, something which later changed thanks to LACNIC.
LACNIC amalgamated the various spaces that already existed and brought us all together in a place in a place where we could feel comfortable and begin to cooperate.
The level of coordination that exists among the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community at international spaces is evident, and this has to do with LACNIC, the place where we were all able to converge, feel comfortable and coordinate on matters exceeding our region.
How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?
I hope it will be more inclusive, that more actors will become involved. I also hope that those who are marginally involved will increase their level of participation.
In my opinion, Internet governance should remain a collaborative space. The Internet itself is a collaborative space, and we all decided to build the Internet voluntarily. Collaboration is needed to keep Internet governance going. It is important for the role of governments, the private sector, non-government stakeholders and the technical community to continue to grow, and that spaces for collaboration continue to exist.
How will things turn out? Anything can happen, the jury is still out on this question. What is important is for each of us to continue to work on what we are currently involved in so we can achieve the best possible outcome.