In Latin America the implementation of eduroam is firmly moving forward, and one of the people who have promoted this service by putting all his faith in it, is José Luis Quiroz (INICTEL-UNI and RAAP, Peru), the leader of RedCLARA’s Technical Group for Mobility. In this conversation, we can understand why he is passionate about mobility and his strong commitment to the implementation of eduroam in the region.
As leader of the WG for Mobility (2011-2012) and deputy coordinator of the eduroam WG (2009-2010), you have been working for quite a while in order to bring eduroam’s benefits into Latin America, what made you set out on this journey and why do you think that establishing eduroam in our region is relevant?
It was at a CLARA-TEC meeting in Brazil that the creation of the WG for Mobility was proposed, and the work plan activities included eduroam. At that time the Coordinator was Johnny Laura, and I was the deputy Coordinator; it was what we could call an “introductory” period and few people dared follow us. When I took over the Coordination, I realised the job was not that simple... we had to “move things up”, to create interest and to do so I had to be convinced of what I was doing and, I was! A great contribution in the beginnings was the enthusiasm of Eric López, from the Universidad de El Salvador, Javier Richard Quinto, from INICTEL-UNI, with whom we, together with José Manuel Macías, from RedIRIS, set out on the great adventure of eduroam in Latin America, this was a great motivation for me! Three countries struggling to get eduroam’s pilot for Latin America; in order to make the group larger we created a discussion list which allowed us to incorporate friends from the other NRENs. I admit that at the beginning I added most technical representatives from the NRENs so they could at least see “what we were doing” J, and feel motivated by reading our comments on the list, which were many... and that had its desired effect!
When we got the validation of the RADIUS server confederated from LA towards the (ETLR) server in Europe, it was a great joy! We felt linked to Europe; it was April 20th, 2011, the beginning of community integration, the bridge had already been built...
The implementation of eduroam in Latin America is one of the key components of the ELCIRA project; how do you evaluate the fact that ELCIRA included this component and how do you relate to this project from your position as leader of the WG within CLARA-TEC which is struggling for the implementation of eduroam in our region?
The inclusion of eduroam in ELCIRA is very pertinent, because it coincides with the initiative of the Mobility WG for the implementation and deployment of eduroam in the region. One of the objectives of the WG was the implementation and recognition of the RADIUS server confederated in LA; we accomplished the implementation, and recognition can be obtained with the help of ELCIRA.
Here ELCIRA comes into play, in order to strengthen the coordination with Europe, and between Europe and the NRENs. The initiatives of both the Mobility WG and ELCIRA have the same goal, the deployment and consolidation of eduroam in Latin America and what could be better that to do so together.
As the leader of the Mobility-WG I collaborate with RNP that leads ELCIRA’s Work Package 4, which is devoted to this subject.
What is the current state of eduroam in Latin America?
Since April 2012 we have Brazil and Peru as Roaming Operators (RO) for eduroam; and recently at the 11th meeting of the GeCC (eduroam’s Global Governance Committee) the eduroam Compliance Statement signed by Chile to become an RO was endorsed. This month, Chile became the 59th RO in the world.
I could affirm that the next candidates to become RO are Costa Rica, Uruguay and Argentina; countries that have satisfactorily completed the authentication configuration and testing of their Federated Servers (RADIUS Proxy Servers). Costa Rica has already begun deployment at national level, followed by El Salvador, which is undergoing a process of updating its servers; I’m positive that it can easily join eduroam in the first months of 2013, since it already has experience with the configuration of its federated RADIUS server.
Ecuador is performing configuration tasks in order to get its federated server, and it is very likely that Colombia joins in early 2013. It would be a great way to begin the new year... by the end of 2013 we would have six (06) more countries.
Back in September this year, thanks to the coordination of RedIRIS, we exchanged emails with staff from the UNAN-León in Nicaragua so they could join eduroam. The training proposed was not carried out, but it is a good start, considering Nicaragua does not have an NREN.
I think we can begin with the “evangelisation” towards the countries that do not have an NREN; this way, all or most of them would be part of the future eduroam-LA.
If you were told that the immediate implementation of eduroam in all countries across the regions depends solely on your words, what would you say to the leaders from those countries in order to convince them of eduroam’s implementation?
Well, it’s not easy... to convince them I would begin by showing them the benefits of having eduroam, to have my eduroam ‘showcase’ for everyone to look at, and then I’d say: Not convinced yet? You are the only one who’s missing!