LACNIC and other I* Organisations Shine at the CANTO 38th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition
By Kevon Swift– Head of Public Safety Affairs
Just about a month ago, I had the privilege of attending the 38th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition (ACTE) of the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations (CANTO) in Miami, Florida. Alongside engaging in high-level discussions with Internet stakeholders from across the region, I also took part in a panel discussion on how collaboration can pave the way for success in Internet development. The following account provides a glimpse into this engaging experience.
Under the 2023 theme “Fostering a Resilient Datasphere for All,” the 38th CANTO ACTE reaffirmed its commitment to forging a robust and secure digital environment for the betterment of individuals and businesses throughout the Caribbean. These yearly conferences and trade exhibitions offer a vibrant platform for deliberations on the region’s digital transformation, bringing together a diverse array of stakeholders from this lively domain. CANTO2023 witnessed the participation of over 600 attendees hailing from more than 30 countries, with a multitude more tuning into the conference’s sessions online.
The Role of I* Organisations at CANTO2023
Represented by Mr. José Varela, our Registration Services Coordinator, and myself, LACNIC’s presence was clearly evident on the conference’s agenda and within the exhibition space. CANTO2023 also bore witness to the active involvement of esteemed sister organisations such as the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the Internet Society (ISOC), and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). These I* organisations played a pivotal role in engaging players along the telecommunications and Internet value chains, aiding them in tackling the manifold challenges associated with digital transitions. These challenges encompassed, but were not restricted to, IPv6 deployment, effective management of IPv4 and IPv6 resources, ensuring Internet number autonomy, bolstering the resilience of Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs), and keeping abreast of cybersecurity and DNS abuse trends. Despite the brilliant marketing and engineering minds regularly present at CANTO events within the telecoms field, there always exists room for insights from Internet organisations to illuminate the core functions of the Internet and the latest trends that influence our ecosystem.
The quartet of Caribbean representatives from the I* organisations took centre stage, shaping discussions centred around collaborating for regional success. Leaning on their extensive experience in Internet Governance, community networks, and other related initiatives, these I* entities underscored the significance of employing multistakeholder approaches when confronting regional challenges. In the case of LACNIC, I delved into strategies aimed at enhancing Internet infrastructure and fostering cooperation among stakeholders within the region. This is especially pertinent given the current context, where IPv4 resources are no longer available to further connectivity goals. ARIN imparted insights into the prudent management of IP address allocations to ensure sustainable growth. Meanwhile, ISOC underscored the importance of universal Internet accessibility and security. At the same time, ICANN offered updates concerning the domain name system and policies that impact the Caribbean.
Furthermore, we drew attention to the presence of established forums like the Caribbean Network Operators’ Group (CaribNOG), the Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Forum (CarPIF), and the Caribbean Justice Forum, reinforcing the notion that collaborative endeavours lead to tangible progress in our compact societies that grapple with capacity issues. These collective efforts can herald equitable outcomes for all stakeholders. As a community of network operators dedicated to the exchange of technical insights and experiences tied to IP network management within the Caribbean, CaribNOG represents a pivotal segment of the regional technical community. Their events provide an exclusive arena for cultivating knowledge and understanding. Sprung from a partnership between CaribNOG, ISOC, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), and Packet Clearing House (PCH), CarPIF concentrates on confronting Caribbean-specific challenges and seizing opportunities for peering and interconnection. It does so by examining the juncture of technical acumen with the economic dynamics of small states. Finally, the Caribbean Justice Forum, jointly organised by ARIN, the CTU and the Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions, with substantial contributions from LACNIC, represents a more recent initiative aimed at tackling issues related to digital transformation and justice delivery. These three instances vividly demonstrate the efficacy of employing multistakeholder approaches in seeking solutions. Importantly, the agendas of these spaces are transparently set, and they actively incorporate inputs from academia and civil society. Revisiting these synergistic experiences before the CANTO audience, we the I*star reps provided a concise synopsis and recommendations on advancing Caribbean digital ambitions.
Collaboration is deeply woven into the fabric of the Internet. However, the Caribbean region must undertake a strategic and contextually relevant approach to advance its digital ambitions. To realise this, four steps are imperative:
- Contextualise and Strategise Collaborations: Grasping the distinct needs and challenges of the Caribbean region is indispensable for cultivating effective collaborations that engender meaningful transformation.
- Embrace Inclusive Participation: Ensuring the right individuals and entities partake in discussions is pivotal to address pertinent issues and cultivate diverse perspectives.
- Drive Data-Driven Decision Making: The collection and analysis of data specific to the Caribbean empower decision-makers to make well-informed choices and execute precise solutions.
- Empower Every Stakeholder: Acknowledging the agency each stakeholder possesses nurtures a sense of ownership and fuels a commitment to positive change.
As the curtains descended on CANTO2023, participants departed imbued with a renewed vigour for the Caribbean’s digital evolution. The event cast a spotlight on the significance of collaboration and multistakeholder approaches in advancing the digital agenda of the region. With CANTO’s persistent endeavours and the steadfast dedication of its partners, the Caribbean stands poised to embark on fresh, exhilarating ventures that will carve out a resilient and all-inclusive digital destiny for all.
The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations (CANTO) occupies a pivotal role in propelling the digital advancement of the region. Through its annual conferences and trade exhibitions, CANTO serves as a nexus, bringing together experts and stakeholders from both the private and public sectors. The deliberations encompass a spectrum of subjects including telecommunications, Internet Governance, and digital innovation. CANTO serves as a fertile ground for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the propagation of industry best practices throughout the Caribbean’s telecommunications and technology community.
1) The I* (I-star) group of organisations is a loose term to describe organisations that share responsibilities for coordinating the Internet technical infrastructure. They include the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), ICANN, ISOC, IETF, IAB, W3C and the regional associations of country code domain name registries. In this case, the I* organisations refer to LACNIC, ARIN, ISOC and ICANN.