FRIDA is a LACNIC fund that supports initiatives to strengthen the internet in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The program provides funding under three thematic categories:
Internet Stability and Security:
The Internet is under permanent construction. Ensuring its stability and security is essential to strengthen user trust and foster Internet growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This line of funding focuses on four themes that are essential to strengthen Internet operation in the region:
- Cybersecurity: Funding will be provided to initiatives that promote Internet security with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. Topics of interest include:
- Domain Name System (DNS). Innovative approaches, such as DNSSEC or others, that increase Internet users’ trust in the Domain Name System and in the various online services they access.
- Routing security. Initiatives that support greater deployment of technologies that favor routing system security, including RPKI, RPKI extensions, routing registries, and the adoption of good practices such as MANRS.
- Measurements. Initiatives that study the level of deployment of Internet security technologies, vulnerabilities and trends at the regional level.
- Confidentiality of communications. Strategies and solutions to improve the confidentiality of Internet traffic.
- Data security and integrity. Solutions to strengthen data security and mitigate data leaks.
- Internet of Things security.
- End-user device security. Alternatives to improve security at the end-user device level.
- Capacity building in cybersecurity. Proposals that are sustainable over time and that seek to build capacity in Internet infrastructure security among specific communities.
- Internet Resilience:
- Resilience refers to the Internet’s ability to maintain an acceptable level of service in the event of failures that affect information traffic. Resilience is often considered a metric of Internet health.
- The Internet is always subject to potential threats and vulnerabilities. This demands the development of new technologies and the deployment of collaborative efforts to make the Internet more resistant to the vulnerabilities inherent to its infrastructure and potentially malicious activities that seek to destabilize its operation.
- FRIDA seeks to finance initiatives that strengthen Internet resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean. Topics of interest include:
- Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS). Innovative approaches to prevent DDoS attacks or promote the large-scale adoption of existing technologies.
- DNS. Deployment of root servers or other anycast DNS services.
- Monitoring and mitigation of anomalies. Automated monitoring mechanisms that will allow identifying and mitigating incidents such as packet losses, Internet blocks or routing anomalies.
- Collaboration with global measurement projects. Efforts for region to contribute with measurement projects such as Atlas, Measurement Lab, RouteViews, RIPE RIS and others.
- Interconnection covers the different mechanisms through which Internet operators enable Internet traffic. It includes both technical aspects as well as business strategies for operators to connect among themselves.
- The consolidation of the Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean relies on an efficient and reliable interconnection of networks that maximizes the cost-benefit ratio so that the Internet will be more affordable.
- FRIDA seeks to finance initiatives that strengthen regional interconnection. Topics of interest include:
- Internet exchange points. Initiatives to bring network operators together and encourage the creation of Internet exchange points and/or to strengthen existing IXPs, including efforts to improve access to content distribution networks (CDNs).
- Measurements. Initiatives to study the state of interconnection in the countries of the region, monitor IXP traffic, and identify regional trends.
- Traffic management: Tools to measure the effectiveness of the internal traffic management practices implemented by IXPs and analysis of traffic management strategies with a focus on interconnection.
- BGP. Automated BGP configuration and management to facilitate interconnection efforts.
- Capacity building in interconnection. Proposals that seek to build capacity in the field of interconnection among specific communities and which are sustainable over time.
- Network Operation:
- The Internet depends on proper network operation. Internet providers in Latin America and the Caribbean have the opportunity to increase the sophistication of their network operation strategies through innovation and automation.
- This subtopic focuses only on small and medium operators. FRIDA seeks to finance initiatives that promote innovation in Internet network management in Latin America and the Caribbean. Topics of interest include:
- Automation and innovation. Tools for automated network management, including network operation and monitoring, and innovative solutions for the operation of networks/datacenters.
- BGP. Training and research to encourage automation in BGP configuration and management.
- Domain Name System (DNS). Process automation tools to facilitate the management of DNS servers, both authoritative and recursive.
- Measurements. Systems to visualize and update network status for integrated network management and other measurement tools.
- Innovations in network architecture. Innovative strategies to improve network architecture, including reviews of service needs, the implementation of enhancements to configuration and security audits.
Free and Open Internet:
A free and open Internet allows information to be available to all Internet users, without the risk of censorship or surveillance. This principle has important implications for the exercise of rights in the digital environment, such as the right to information, freedom of expression and privacy.
This line of funding provided by FRIDA seeks to support alternative and innovative strategies to protect the free and open nature of the Internet and defend the digital rights of vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Topics of interest include:
- Online freedom of expression. Innovative initiatives that seek to protect freedom of expression and civic activity in the online environment, or that counteract restrictions on digital content such as blackouts, blocks, arbitrary leaks and the criminalization of legitimate discourse.
- Privacy and data protection. Strategies to prevent privacy violations and allow Internet users in the region to control their personal data.
- Digital rights and diversity. Innovative initiatives that promote the digital rights and online presence of women, the LGBTQI+ community and minorities, including actions to combat online gender violence and digital security projects.
Approximately a third of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean still doesn’t have access to the Internet. The most persistent access divides are observed between the rural and the urban populations and among the persons of different income levels, both of which represent penetration and affordability challenges.
According to the United Nations, access to the Internet has become a fundamental aspect for the full exercise of human rights. The Internet enables greater access to information and sources of knowledge, expands the exercise of rights and freedoms, and allows access to opportunities and services such as employment, government services and others.
This line of funding provided by FRIDA seeks to support alternative and innovative strategies to expand Internet access among populations of Latin America and the Caribbean. Funding will be provided for projects addressing the four topics below:
- Alternative Access Models. Small and medium-sized companies, cooperatives or civil associations seeking to bring connectivity or access to content to underserved communities by means of intranets, community management networks and the assembly of small and medium ISPs.
- Interconnection. Projects to promote the interconnection of small Internet providers such as WISPs, small and medium ISPs, intranets and community networks.
- Technologies for Connectivity. Development of low-cost hardware (e.g. routers, tablets, processors, etc.) and/or open-source software to facilitate the assembly of networks and reduce cost barriers for connection.
- Energy to Power Connectivity. Hardware and software solutions with innovative approaches to powering Internet infrastructure in remote areas or during natural disasters.
Under these three topics, FRIDA offers two forms of support: awards and grants.
- FRIDA Awards recognize initiatives with proven impact that have contributed to the creation of an open, stable and secure Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- The FRIDA Award consists of a cash prize of US$10,000 plus a fellowship for a representative of the winning project to participate in Awards Ceremony.
- FRIDA Grants provide financial support to innovative initiatives seeking to promote an open, stable and secure Internet for Latin America.
- The grants are financial contributions between US$10,000 and US$40,000 to complete projects up to 12-months long.
In 2020, FRIDA will provide a total of USD 174,000 distributed as follows:
- Three USD 10,000 awards for each of the program’s thematic categories.
- Approximately eight USD 10,000 – 40,000 grants between the program’s three thematic categories.
- In the case of the Internet Stability and Security category, applications will be accepted from operators, universities, research centers and government agencies based in Latin America and the Caribbean. Working groups and associations that bring together these actors, such as IXPs, NOGs, university networks and professional networks, may also apply.
- In the case of the Free and Open Internet category, applications will be received from operators, universities, research centers and government agencies based in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- For the Internet Access category, applications will be accepted from small and medium-sized companies, cooperatives or civil associations seeking to bring connectivity or access to content to underserved communities, universities, research centers and government entities based in Latin America and the Caribbean.
For more information, visit FRIDA.