[Alac-sc-outreach] Trip to Caucasus

Anupam Agrawal anupam.agrawal at tcs.com
Fri May 24 10:22:54 UTC 2013

Dear Roberto,

Thanks a lot for your report. An important factor mentioned by you that 
resistance to change to recoup the investment in earlier technologies is a 
common phenomenon observed in India as well. 

I agree with your point about mobile penetration and Victor's expansion 
that increased Mobile usage will see lot of local content development as 
well. It has already started as could see services being tailored made to 
provide the latest weather updates & crop prices to farmers on mobile.

Anupam Agrawal
ISOC Kolkata ALS

Victor Ndonnang <ndonnang at isoc-cameroon.org>
Roberto Gaetano <roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com>
ALAC Outreach SC <alac-sc-outreach at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
05/24/2013 01:07 PM
Re: [Alac-sc-outreach] Trip to Caucasus
Sent by:
alac-sc-outreach-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org

Dear Roberto,

Thank you very much your excellent report which shares the rich experience 
of your visit. 
You rise an important issue in your report concerning the opportunity for 
organizations to join ALAC. I support your idea to see ICANN helping ALSes 
implement projects which really impact the life of end users. I know ICANN 
had been supporting some ALSes but there is a need to do more. 

Reading your report, I can see the similarity between Armenia and some 
African countries where nearly everybody had a mobile phone and where the 
future of the Internet is indeed mobile. The development of Mobile 
Internet and mobile applications is going to bring the Internet 
penetration in those countries from 5% to 90% or 100% by 2020. And the 
biggest chance will be the development of local content. 

Finally It is a great innovation to see police having their URL on their 
cars. This can inspire others developing countries. 
Thank you once again.
Best regards,

Victor Ndonnang
"The Internet is for Everyone!"
~Sent from my iPhone~

On 23 mai 2013, at 19:44, Roberto Gaetano <roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com> 

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 
·         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 
·         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 
·         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 
·         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 
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,
Alac-sc-outreach mailing list
Alac-sc-outreach at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Alac-sc-outreach mailing list
Alac-sc-outreach at atlarge-lists.icann.org

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