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Internet Governance Forum brings together more Georgian companies this year

By Mariam Chanishvili
Wednesday, September 13
On September 11-12, Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held in Radisson Blu Iveria in Tbilisi. The forum was accompanied with signing a number of cooperation documents among different companies.

Georgian IGF is formed by the parties interested in the development of internet governance. First Internet Governance Forum was organized by the Council of Europe in Georgia, in December 2015.

The forum was dedicated to the issues important for Georgia’s Internet space. There were many interest groups, representatives of the non-governmental sector and other stakeholders participating in development of the forum agenda.

The main goals of the forum are to promote the universalization of the Internet, to protect fundamental human rights and freedoms on Internet, to support democratic process and the rule of law, to facilitate the cultural and linguistic diversity in the Internet as well as support the development of local content, to introduce the principles of open access and freedom of user’s choice. The event was attended by many different organizations.

Early in 2016, “Association of Small and Medium Telecom Operators of Georgia” and a non-governmental organization “Internet Development Initiative” along with other members of the engineering and academic community established a primary imitative group to organize the next forum. Representatives of the NRA of telecom and Media sector – Georgian National Communication Commission (GNCC), Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Georgian chapter of Internet Society (ISOC) joined the group. Ucha Seturi, CEO of Small and Medium sized Telecom Operators Association, was elected as a coordinator of Georgian internet Governance forum.

The Forum is sponsored by European Council, RIPE NCC, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, and Georgian National Communication Commission.

RIPE Network Coordination Center (NCC), which is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization that supports the infrastructure of the Internet through technical coordination, had a special corner with their representatives, so that they could introduce new opportunities and attend their clients.

RIPE NCC serves the members by delivering a high quality registry and supporting the core Internet infrastructure. Connecting people within and beyond the technical community through their inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach, RIPE contributes to an innovative and reliable Internet.

Maxim Burtikov, External Relations Officer in Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the RIPE NCC, noted that a lot of Georgian companies, such as Silknet, Beeline, Geocell, Magti, are using RIPE NCC’s services. In total, they have 112 members in Georgia and most of the major and medium-sized Internet and telecommunications companies are members of the RIPE NCC.

“The Internet industry in Georgia is very strong at the moment, as we’ve seen in the rapid increase in the number of RIPE NCC members. That means lots of business opportunities in Georgia, and new services coming online for Georgian consumers,” said Burtikov who stressed the company is targeting to have more Georgian operators deploy IPv6 on their networks.

“The RIPE NCC is finding ways to work together with our members here in Georgia on this issue, and we provide a number of services to help not only our members, but the broader Internet community here in Georgia - this means not just providing IP addresses, but a range of other technical services and tools, including resource certification (RPKI), DNS services, RIPE Atlas and RIPEstat. We also offer free training for our members, and online educational services through the RIPE NCC Academy,” he added.

The representatives of RIPE NCC believe that IGF brings together people from across the community to share ideas and experiences.

“We are happy to support it again and to be in the epicenter of community-building initiatives. We believe it's a great opportunity for people in the region to meet and network with their colleagues from around the world,” read RIPE NCC statement.