With countries like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the countries of the Caribbean, it’s clear the Latin America region is as diverse in culture and language as it is in challenges and solutions when it comes to Internet access and development.
The realities are quite different across the region, from countries which encompass enormous land masses such as Brazil, to Haiti – which is statistically the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
In this context, Internet access is perhaps the dominant issue for the region.
While The Latin American Internet audience grew 23% in the past year and now represents 8% of the global Internet audience, average penetration still hovers around 30% and falls as low as 8% in some countries.
Low domestic broadband penetration is perhaps one of the leading factors affecting these statistics and therefore much of Internet Society’s work focuses on these areas.
Policy work is also critical to the region. As in many parts of the world, work around issues of net neutrality and privacy dominate the policy landscape, yet in Latin America these issues take on very specific idiosyncrasies which are unique to the area.
How We Work:
The Regional Bureau in Latin America & Caribbean acts as an advisor to other Internet Society departments on issues affecting our work. Its also provides critical insight on local business, technology and policy issues to the Internet Society and its stakeholders.
The Bureau also works with Chapters to grow individual memberships, support their initiatives and help them advance in their support of the Internet Society's mission and values. This includes the focus on building trust and providing transparent guidance for Chapters and helping each chapter develop strong projects.
We Focus On:
Education - Through a number of programmes the Latin American Bureau helps local communities, neighborhoods, and villages build their skills to access and develop the Internet. The Bureau also partners with local post-secondary institutions to ensure our next generation of Internet leaders have the cross-cutting skills necessary to bring their contribution to the Internet to fruition.
Policy - In Latin America, the Internet Society has many opportunities for engagement and consultation with policymakers. Latin America and the Caribbean are implementing ambitious national strategies to increase high-speed Internet access, promote Internet innovation and to tackle many of the challenges of the digital economy. As international leaders in Internet technology, industry, and policy, these countries are also extremely active in global and regional organizations that address Internet technical, economic, and policy issues.
Partnerships - The Internet Society in Latin America works with both private sector, educational, and civil society to achieve its goals. The Bureau would not be able to tackle issues such as IPv6 deployment, or critical issues around policy or without a multistakeholder model that has served the development and advancement of the Internet since its inception.