Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Widening the Western Web

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Widening the Western Web

Article excerpt

Computer networking in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown impressively during the past two years. According to recent statistics, some of these regional networks have had the highest rates of growth worldwide. And the Internet research company Network Wizards reports that ten nations of the region have more than one thousand hosts: 77,148 interconnected hosts in Brazil; 29,840 hosts in Mexico; 15,885 in Chile; 12,688 in Argentina; 9,054 in Colombia; 3,491 in Costa Rica; 5,192 in Peru; 2,417 in Venezuela; 2,301 in the Dominican Republic; and 1,823 in Uruguay.

Chile and Costa Rica have the largest number of connections in relation to their population, a number similar, in fact, to some European countries. The Peruvian network, Red Cientifica Peruana (RCP), a consortium of hundreds of institutions, became connected to the Internet in 1994 and is experiencing very rapid growth.

The University of Costa, Rica and the Costa Rican National Research Network (CRNet), which has a large number of affiliated Costa Rican educational and research users, has established Internet connections to the rest of the Central American nations, some of which have additional connections through direct satellite uplinks to the U.S. Following the recommendations of the Plan of Action that emanated from the Summit of the Americas, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE), the Costa Rican Ministry of Science and Technology, and CRNet recently agreed to interconnect the academic networks in Central America, using the current insfrastructure developed within the framework of the OAS Hemispheric-Wide Inter-University Scientific and Information Network (RedHUCyT). Recently, RedHUCyT provided an earth station for satellite communication, which will enhance the capability of CRNet.

The OAS General Assembly approved the RedHUCyT project in 1991, charging it with connecting member countries to the Internet and integrating an electronic network for the exchange of scientific and technological information among professors, researchers, and specialists at different universities. Substantial funding was provided by the U.S. and other member state governments.

Through the RedHUCyT project, the OAS helped local initiatives in the member states in either the creation or expansion of networks in their countries. …

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