The Latin America and Caribbean Federation for Internet and Electronic Commerce , eCOMLAC was founded in March 1988 at a meeting held in Río de Janeiro.
eCOM-LAC was a founder of LACNIC, the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry, which was formally established in late 2003, after four years of negotiations with ICANN in order to obtain approval of this initiative. This was a genuine Muiltisector Partnership which included participation of the private, academic, NGO and Civil Society sectors in the region. The “deliverable” was a non-profit entity, with policies defined by the regional Internet community, and which manages the IP address blocks for Latin America from it’s headquarters in Montevideo (Uruguay).
In the years 2004/2005, eCOM-LAC was part of an International Consortium, led by the Fundació Aplicació of Barcelona (Spain), which was awarded a 3.000.000 Euros subsidy by the European Commission, through the @lis RFP. The project that was implemented was titled: ATLAS de la Diversidad – Mi Lugar, and approximately four hundred schools in Latin America received instruction in the use of website development and publishing tools, and simultaneously creating a network of schools that were able to share their customs, culture, music, history, etc. eCOM-LAC was tasked with provisioning broadband connectivity for the underprivileged schools that lacked resources. The Consortium paid for these costs during the duration of the project (24 months).
The DNS through the TLDs still continues providing unique identification to machines, services and internet users on the Web. This identification is traditionally associated with its country of origin or its prime activity like commerce, education and government.
Users need choice. In response to this need, in recent years we have seen the emergence of some new top level domains such as: ‘.biz’, ‘.info’, ‘.name’, ‘.travel’, ‘.mobi’, and significantly the regional identity TLDs – ‘.eu’, and ‘.asia’ and cultural identity TLDs like ".cat" . These two latter domains, which are enjoying significant success, provide registrants with an option to register domain names establishing a regional or cultural identity in the Internet, as compared for example, to a national identity by registering their domain names under a country code top level domain.
To give Latin-American and Caribbean individuals and organizations from all over the world a new choice to identify themselves with the rest of the internet, eCOM-LAC in partnership with NIC Mexico, will shortly be applying for delegation of a new top level domain – ‘.lat’.