The proposal is supported by the Undersecretariat of Telecommunications and the Universidade de Chile.
1. Country/Institution background : Chile, NIC Chile, University of Chile.
NIC Chile is the institution in charge of managing the domain name registry for the .CL ccTLD, performing this task since the beginning of the Internet connection in the country.
2. ICT development and general status
Chile has a dynamic ICT sector and a good telecommunications infrastructure.
3. Internet industry development and general status
Chile is one of the most connected countries in Latin America, considering the population and the size of the country. With 15 million inhabitants and 180 thousand domains under .CL, Chile has the highest number of domain names per capita, and the country has over one million broad band connections.
4. Previous/current problems in the Internet sector
Through the years since Chile connected to the Internet, many issues have had to be addressed, and most of them have seen solved by self regulation, without the need of government intervention. Examples of these issues are dispute resolution for domain names and the introduction of IDNs. One exception to this rule was the interconnection of ISPs. Even though the smaller ISPs had established an interconnection point called NAP Chile, none of the larger ISPs connected to it. In practice, this meant that most domestic traffic had to be routed through expensive international links. This situation remained until the telecommunications authority mandated that they should interconnect locally.
5. Policy measures implemented and being implemented, impediments and issues faced
In 1997, NIC Chile formalized the procedure to register a domain name under .CL , through a services contract. This included a Local Dispute Resolution Policy. This system had been successful to control cybersquatting and domain name hijacking. In 2005, IDN (internationalized domain names) were launched, including accented letters and other special characters. The matters were handled through self regulation. Only in few cases has the government authority felt the need to intervene. In fact, there are only three decrees from the Undersecretary of Telecommunications, which cover issues about interconnection of ISPs, level of quality of Internet connection for the users and the way that information has to be published. In other area, issues about consumers had to be faced and, the Consumer Protection Law was modified, including rules and effects about electronic contracts.
6. Results (previous/hoped for) of policy interventions
Thanks to the Local Dispute Resolution Policy, cybersquatting in Chile is something that rarely happens. Reverse domain name hijacking is also avoided through some effects like mediation before arbitration and the waiving of arbitration fees for the current domain name holder. In the case of IDN adoption, the LDRP was capable of handling the surge of conflicts that were generated with this. Since 1997, our electronic contract (domain name service agreement) was supported only by the good faith of the users, but with time, new laws were generated, like digital signature and electronic document law, and the consumer protection law included this new elements.
7. Unintended consequences of policy interventions, good and bad,
The penetration of .CL domain names in Chile is widespread. Only 5% of the websites in the country use generic extensions, like .com or .net. In matter of IDNs the complications for using them with many browsers has disappointed users, who cannot see properly the websites if the browsers cannot resolve the electronic address. IDNs cannot be used for email either.
8. Unresolved issues; their locus, how might they be addressed
We expect that most issues will continue to be addressed through self regulation, continuing a tradition of minimal government intervention.
9. Insights gained as a result of the experience, concluding thoughts
In our experience, not all the issues have to be addresed by the government. We had the opportunity to work with the collaboration of the government, in the sense that it look for self regulation scheme and only with a technical and thin regulatory actions, and the industry, ISPs and ICTs, are committed to the Internet development as a whole. Civil society, government and industry are continously having comunication in order to achieve the country's goals.