By Gerard Best
PORT OF SPAIN — A group of global and regional technology organizations are partnering to help Caribbean professionals get more out of the Internet economy.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) spearheaded the launch of the Virtual DNS Entrepreneurship Center of the Caribbean (VDECC). The term DNS refers to the domain name system, a core component of the technology behind the Internet. The DNS automatically translates human-readable website addresses into the numeric machine addresses that computers use.
VDECC aims to open up new money-making opportunities in the DNS industry for Internet businesses and entrepreneurs across the region, including Internet service providers, web hosting companies, top-level domain operators, domain name registrars and resellers, web developers, digital marketers, e-commerce startups and Internet legal experts.
“With the right mindset, a wide range of Internet stakeholders can take advantage of emerging opportunities to offer their services. Entrepreneurs with the right vision taking the right action can create new and sustainable business ventures,” said Albert Daniels, Stakeholder Engagement Senior Manager for the Caribbean at ICANN.
The initiative was launched in Port of Spain on Feb. 19, in partnership with the Latin American and Caribbean Country Code Top-Level Domain Association (LACTLD), CANTO, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, and the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), the volunteer-based community of computer network administrators from across the Caribbean.
Daniels described VDECC as the fruit of ICANN’s collaboration with organizations such as CANTO, CTU and CaribNOG. Delivering opening remarks at the launch, representatives of those bodies also voiced a desire to build strategic partnerships with ICANN.
“The VDECC initiative represents a new wave of possibility for how the Caribbean region is represented on the global DNS marketplace. We have the chance to engage a new cadre of entrepreneurially minded computer engineers, who are interested in playing a part on the global scale but may not fully understand the pathway to getting there,” said Bevil Wooding, Caribbean Outreach Liaison at the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), and one of the founders of CaribNOG.
Meeting sessions covered a range of topics, such as the domain name aftermarket, and how to become an ICANN-accredited registrar. Plenary question-and-answer sessions peppered the agenda, creating a rich atmosphere of free-flowing dialogue among an audience that included a mix of technical, policy, legal and business interests. A number of online participants from across the Caribbean and Latin America also joined the dialogue through a live video stream. The open discussion identified a number of potentially lucrative business opportunities but also pinpointed specific hurdles that have to be overcome.
“We have a long road ahead, and this is just the first step,” said Daniel Fink, Stakeholder Engagement Senior Manager for Brazil at ICANN.