[Alac-sc-outreach] Trip to Caucasus

Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com
Fri May 24 02:37:49 UTC 2013

Dear Roberto,

Thank you for taking the time to write a report about your recent visit to
Caucasus. Your writing has allowed me to see it through your eyes and I
could almost picture shepherds with their mobile phones. I would like your
permission to share your report with Capacity Building Working Group, let
me know if this is ok.

Kind Regards,

On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, Roberto Gaetano <
roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all.****
> I took the chance of a non-ICANN-related trip to Caucasus to contact the
> internet people, and specifically the At-Large structures, in the region.*
> ***
> I was not on any official ICANN mission, but believe that it is worth
> anyway to write a short report of my contacts and personal considerations.
> ****
> I am addressing this to different mailing lists with separate messages, to
> avoid cross-posting.****
> In particular, please note the point made during the meeting about central
> Asia, and the lack of ALSes in some of the former URSS republics, which
> prevents development of the multi-stakeholder model in those countries.***
> *
> ** **
> I had a very interesting meeting in Armenia, hosted by ISOC AM, with the
> Armenian ALSes.****
> The main points that came out from the discussion were (to the best of my
> recollection):****
> **·         **The fact that the development of the internet in Armenia is
> consistently more advanced than in some neighboring countries (for
> instance, there are 3 ALSes) depends on a mix of elements, including the
> presence in Armenia of highly skilled ITC professionals as well as the
> vision that has identified since the early days the potential of the
> internet. This experience will be very difficult to replicate in other
> countries, at least in the short term.****
> **·         **Thanks to the early vision, Armenia has developed the
> “multi-stakeholder” concept also in the management of the internet at the
> national level. The ccTLD operator, the ISPs, the At-Large structures,
> commercial organizations, the government, are tightly collaborating, and
> there is also the initiative of a permanent IGF forum in Armenia. This has
> allowed to have very advanced positions in international fora, where all
> stakeholders are contributing, and we do not have the situation that can be
> seen in other countries, where the government is imposing its view.****
> **·         **Looking at the map of the world, and the location of the
> ALSes, it appears clearly that there is a wide area, namely the former
> Soviet Union states in central Asia, where there is no ALAC presence. This
> is felt to be tightly correlated with the fact that the position that these
> countries bring in the international debate are only depending on
> government opinions. In order to promote ICANN’s multi-stakeholder
> approach, ALAC should make an outreach effort to these countries with the
> objective of gaining members. The general opinion is that this will be a
> difficult objective to achieve, but nevertheless it is strategically
> important.****
> **·         **The current location of Armenia in APRALO is creating
> serious problems. It should be noted that the Armenian ccTLD operator is a
> member of CENTR (the European ccTLD operators organization), ISPs are
> getting their addresses from RIPE (the European Regional addressing
> organization), but the Armenian ALSes are forced to be associated to
> APRALO. Considering the point above, i.e. the Armenian multi-stakeholder
> model that brings together different interests to cooperate at the national
> level, we have the strange situation that national domain names and IP
> addresses depend from Europe, while At-Large structures depend from a
> different region. Moreover, there are at the At-Large level cooperation
> projects ongoing that are coordinated by the European Union, and the
> location of Armenia in the AP ICANN region does make little sense, if any.
> For instance, if EURALO develops itself as the partner of the European
> Union for such European projects, it would be extremely impractical to have
> participating ALSes being in a different region. Further considerations
> have been the location of Armenia in Europe in a number of different
> international organizations.****
> **·         **Armenia, being part of the former Soviet Union, has kept a
> network of contacts at the technical level with other operators that are
> part of the Community of Independent States (CIS). One example is also the
> Regional Commonwealth in the field of communications (RCC -
> http://www.en.rcc.org.ru/index.php). This network is also important in
> the discussions related to internet governance and for the decisions in the
> ITU.****
> **·         **One question was raised, about what can ALAC do for the
> users. This is a key issue, because it is hard to motivate individuals and
> organizations to join ALAC if the only thing that they get is the
> opportunity to participate in policy development. Budget should be
> earmarked for initiatives that are useful for the internet users, like
> training.****
> To this, I would like to add some personal considerations on the
> development of ICT, and specifically Internet, in Armenia.****
> I have travelled extensively, in cities and in rural areas, and have been
> staying only once overnight in a place without internet connection, and
> only once in a place that had internet connection but not WiFi. Please note
> that I have never stayed in fancy hotels, but rather in hostels or
> guesthouses, always in inexpensive places. This gave me the feeling of the
> ubiquity of the internet in Armenia.****
> Besides internet, I witnessed the diffusion of mobile communications. It
> seems to me that everybody has a mobile phone. I have seen not only bus
> drivers talking on their mobiles (a plague that I see very often in my
> country), but also shepherds in the countryside with mobile phones.
> Considering that the next frontier of the internet is mobile devices, this
> is promising.****
> Unfortunately, I failed to ask confirmation at the meeting with ALSes, but
> my impression is that Armenia took advantage of the progress in technology
> in the years of their independence, and moved straight to new technologies,
> when telcos in Europe and US (for sure this was the situation in Italy 20
> years ago) were resisting change in order to protect and further exploit
> their investments in previous technologies.****
> Another simple example of how the internet is affecting common behavior is
> the police. This is the only country where I have seen police cars
> displaying instead of the simple “Police” word in the local language the
> url of the police web site: www.police.am. It might be the case in other
> countries as well, but I have noticed it here for the first time.****
> ** **
> Best regards,****
> Roberto****
> ** **
> ** **
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Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro aka Sala
P.O. Box 17862

Twitter: @SalanietaT
Tel: +679 3544828
Fiji Cell: +679 998 2851
Blog: salanieta.blogspot.com
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