RealTime IT News

Spain Joins Internet Society

With an eye on improved coordination of national Internet growth strategy, Netizens this week established the Sociedad Internet de España (ISOC-ES), the Spanish chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC).

The charter assembly coincided with the Third Meeting of Internet Services Providers in Torremolinos and was organized by ISOC's Andalusian chapter, ISOCANDA. Provincial ISOC chapters of Catalonia, Galicia and Aragon also supported formation of a national organization.

The new national body will attempt to bring together "users, Internet providers, major operators and public administration" and "act as referee, promoter and lobby for an Internet within reach of all Spaniards," Vmctor Domingo, president of the Asociación de Internautas, told Europa Press.

Even with several hundred smaller national ISPs, Spanish Net use stands at around 5 percent of the population -- far behind the 40 percent usage attributed to nations like Sweden or Finland. Internet user groups attribute this lag largely to the high local telephone rates, poor service and slow access.

A step beyond the existence of ISOC chapters at the provincial level, this week's meeting made good on a June decision by the smaller groups to create a strategy at the national level. Despite a lack of nationwide institutional representation, two Spaniards (José Luis Pardos, Spain's ambassador to Denmark, and Manuel Sanromá, astronomy professor at Rovira e Virgili University in Tarragona) serve on ISOC's international board of directors.

The Internet Society is a not-for-profit, non-governmental professional membership organization with more than 150 organization and 8,600 individual members in more than 170 countries. It focuses mainly on issues like Internet standards, education and policy.