Regulatory Fellows Attend IETF 84 in Vancouver

By: Karen Mulberry

Date: October 6, 2012

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After the success of ISOC’s Pilot Fellowship Programme for Regulators (IETF 83 Paris, France), the Internet Society formally launched the programme in Vancouver at IETF 84 by inviting another five public policy guests to the meeting. In addition to attending IETF Working Group sessions, the Fellows spoke with experts within the IETF community on topics such as IP routing, security, and management of key Internet resources. These discussions enabled the Fellows to gather both expert viewpoints and a better understanding of the kind of solutions that have been developed through the IETF standards process.

Fred Clark, one of the five Regulatory Fellows selected to attend IETF 84, is manager of telephony at the Superintendence of Telecommunications in Guatemala. His technical background is systems engineering, and his main areas of work are telephony, Internet, and universal service. Clark brought more than 20 years of experience in the implementation of software and technology projects in urban and rural environments to his experience as a Fellow. Following, he shares his expectations and the rewards of attending his first IETF meeting.

My goal for IETF 84 was to learn all I could about the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, and how Internet standards are made. During the six days of the conference, I learned all that time and my knowledge allowed me to about IPv6—in that regard, my expectations were met 100 percent. In addition, I went there with a point of view that got wider and wider as the days went by and as I was exposed to different meetings and conversations with very fascinating people. I can say now that I came in with a view from a spyglass, and came out with a very rich panorama of the Internet. My time at IETF 84 was an invaluable learning experience that at the end was larger than my original expectations.

The opportunity to [attend the meeting in person] was invaluable. It’s very important to learn and experience from the inside how the Internet works, what organizations make it happen, and what is the role of the Internet Society in keeping it the way we know it and use it—in complete freedom, open to everyone, and without any discrimination or prejudice.

Without a doubt, those are the characteristics I would like to see and keep for the Internet in years to come. All I would like to add is a wider penetration of the Internet throughout all of our countries, so that we may all enjoy the possibility of learning and growing in an open-Internet world.