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ICANN LAC-i Roadshow Stirs "High Interest" in Caribbean ccTLDs

Gerard Best

The Caribbean can create a unique flavour on the Internet by using effectively managed and financially stable Country Code Top-Level Domains.

Commonly known as ccTLDs, Country Code Top Level Domains are the two-letter shortcodes inserted after the last dot and before the first slash of some website addresses. All ccTLDs are specifically designated for a particular country or territory, such as .gd for Grenada, .vc for St Vincent and the Grenadines, or .kn for St Kitts and Nevis. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the global forum responsible for developing policies for the coordination of some of the Internet's core technical elements, including top-level domains.

Speaking after ICANN's first Caribbean edition of its Latin American and Caribbean Internet Roadshow (LAC-i Roadshow), recently held in Turks and Caicos Islands, Albert Daniels said the event yielded "very high interest" in the management and operations of the local ccTLD, .tc. Daniels is ICANN's senior manager of stakeholder engagement in the Caribbean.

"The LAC-i Roadshow facilitated a special session which explained how the establishment of a multistakeholder advisory group has been very successful in the management of a similar Caribbean ccTLD, .tt, for Trinidad and Tobago," Daniels said in a post-event statement dated February 12.

In attendance at the roadshow were government and private sector stakeholders, end users, and several representatives from two Internet service providers, Digicel and Flow.

"ICANN structures like the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation were also examined as entities which could connect Caribbean ccTLD managers with their peers in other countries globally, who would be in a position to help them manage and grow their own ccTLDs with stability and resiliency," Daniels added in a subsequent e-mail interview.

"Country code top-level domain names (like .tt, .vc, .uk, .ca, .gd or .kn) were delegated to trustees to manage on behalf of local communities, to give countries of the world their unique space on the internet and provide a platform to contribute to the development of the Internet economy at a local level. Caribbean stakeholders, therefore, have the opportunity to carve out their own unique local flavor of an internet presence utilising an effectively managed and financially stable ccTLD. Generic top-level domain names also offer companies and organisations in the Caribbean the opportunity for similar 'brand' identification," the statement said.

The LAC-i roadshow included a session intended to introduce participants to some of the ways in which Internet policy developed in the global ICANN multistakeholder community can directly impact the type of internet that is used every day for business and social activity in the Caribbean and across the world.

"A secure, stable and interoperable Internet is now relied upon every minute of every day for transacting business and interacting socially at a global level and at the finest level of local day to day life. The policies developed in the ICANN multistakeholder community impact the kind of internet that we get in the Caribbean and how this internet works for us, so we should therefore pay attention to key developments taking place in ICANN global policy development and ensure that Caribbean input with Caribbean concerns and Caribbean needs features in the global decision making that takes place in ICANN and shapes the Internet that we use in the Caribbean," Daniels said, via email.

The LAC-i Roadshow, which took place in Providenciales on February 7, was part of a larger event jointly coordinated with the Telecommunications Commission of Turks and Caicos and the American Registry for Internet Numbers.

More information about ICANN LAC-I Roadshow is available on their website: http://icannlac.org/EN.

By Gerard Best, Development Journalist
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