Fellows Motivated to Become More Involved

By: Tomas Carlsson

Date: December 7, 2007

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IETF fellows and mentors in Vancouver

IETF fellows and mentors in Vancouver
Photo Credit: Thomas Carlsson, with permission

Becoming more active in IETF working groups is the goal of all five participants in the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF programme after their visit to Vancouver for IETF 70. “I will spread more information about the IETF to colleagues at home,” said Fellow Pedro Torres.

The IETF Journal chatted with each of the fellows, focusing on their perceptions of the meeting and on the status of the Internet in their countries.

Pedro manages an Internet-based academic backbone as well as an Internet exchange point and a metropolitan area network. His home city of Curitiba, Brazil, is in the Parana region, which is smaller in poulation than all of São Paulo. Pedro is concerned about the relatively few IETF-meeting participants from Africa and South America. “We use the standards but do not participate in creating the solutions,” he said.

He hopes to increase his knowledge of the work of the IETF among his colleagues as well as in his geograph-ic region. He also hopes to develop better relations with other countries, both through person-to-person contacts within the industry and through the creation of more and better access points. Those ambitions explain his interest in LAPLA/LACNIC-the NIC of Latin America and the Caribbean-and its associated mailing list.

Eduardo Ascenço Reis of São Paulo is a network analyst at CBTC, a telecommunications company in Brazil. He faces considerable challenges at a higher level of networking, which explains his interest in routing, IPv6, and TCP management. “I have been fairly passive in the working groups until now,” he said, “but with the help of my mentor, Scott Brim, I feel more integrated in the groups.”

Frederico Faria works with customers throughout South America and the Caribbean. “Not many people in Brazil are aware of how the IETF working groups gather folks from different parts of the world to discuss Internet development,” he said. “The discussions are open and mature, and the people are welcoming and encouraging. However, I have noticed that the IETF lacks strong links between working groups. Some are trying to solve the same problems, which could be avoided with more cooperation among the groups.”

Veaceslav Sidorenco’s home country of Moldova has only 22,000 broadband connections. Internet penetration is near 20 percent, an exceptionally high number considering that only 30 percent of the population has wired telephones. Veaceslav has been committed to realising the potential of the Internet since the 1980s. While he is now a UNDP-expert in the government and has given classes in RFC theory, he has never before participated in an IETF working group. He is now helping with the management of RENAM, the Research and Educational Networking Association for 8 universities and 20 research institutions. He IETF fellows and mentors in Vancouver Photo by Tomas Carlssonis also involved in building a network operation centre and a computer emergency incident response centre, and he is actively participating in an effort to start an ISOC chapter in Moldova.

In addition to the challenges of understanding IETF processes and culture as a newcomer, some of the fellows face challenges even in just getting themselves to the meeting. Processing times and requirements for obtaining travel visas can be long and onerous, especially for individuals from developing countries. Since the inception of the programme, a few fellows have needed to reschedule their meeting attendance because of such delays.

Tomas Carlsson is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about Internet technologies in Sweden.

“ISOC assists the fellows before and during the visa application process, but sometimes the consulates are very slow in responding,” said Karen Rose, ISOC’s director of education and programmes. “We have added more time into our programme schedule to minimise this kind of disappointment, but if a problem arises, we always offer the fellow an opportunity to attend the next IETF meeting.”

ISOC 70 Fellows and Mentors

  • Frederico Faria, Brazil
    Mentor: Frederico A. C. Neves, Chief Technical Officer at, Brazil
  • Subramanian Moonesamy, Mauritius
    Mentor: John Klensin, independent consultant, U.S.
  • Eduardo Ascenço Reis-Brazil
    Mentor: Scott Brim, Senior Consulting Engineer, Cisco, U.S.
  • Veaceslav Sidorenco, Moldova
    Mentor: Jaap Akkerhuis, Network Research Engineer, NLnetLabs, the Netherlands
  • Pedro Rodrigues Torres-Júnior, Brazil
    Mentor: Henk Uijterwaal, Senior Project Manager, RIPE NCC, the Netherlands