A high-energy physicist, Dr. Guy de Téramond Peralta played an essential role in connecting many Central American and Caribbean countries to the Internet, leading both negotiations and technical aspects of multiple connection projects.
A Costa Rican French national, de Téramond received his higher education in France. He first came to know the power of interconnected computers while at Stanford University on a Guggenheim Fellowship in the late 1980s. There, he realized what it would mean to conduct scientific research anywhere in the world with the help of a broad computer network.
De Téramond began facilitating these connections in the early 1990s while serving as a professor of physics at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), where he initiated a project to establish a BITNET connection between the UCR and Florida Atlantic University. BITNET was a cooperative system of computer networks originally based at universities in the United States.
As the founder of Costa Rica’s Network Information Center, de Téramond was instrumental in 1992 in obtaining the top level domain of .CR for Costa Rica from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the organization which manages the registries that govern Internet identifiers. This paved the way for further Internet connectivity in 1993, when de Téramond, now the leader of Costa Rica’s National Research Network (CRNet), with his team of engineers connected a small network of UCR computers to the fledgling Internet.
Having brought Costa Rica online, de Téramond worked with the Organization of American States and the Hemisphere-Wide Inter-University Scientific and Technological Information Network (known by its Spanish acronym, RedHUCyT) to then pioneer Internet connections for Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Jamaica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Belize. These projects required de Téramond’s considerable negotiation and diplomacy skills to bring together coalitions across governments, local networking organizations, global Internet governing bodies, and private industry.
De Téramond further served Costa Rica as Minister of Science and Technology in the early 2000s. In this role, he led the Advanced Internet Network (Red de Internet Avanzada) project to bring broadband connectivity to the entire country. In 2014, de Téramond participated in the establishment of the Costa Rica Internet Exchange (CRIX), which provides faster networking by reducing the need for Costa Rican Internet traffic to be routed abroad, and the Internet Consulting Council, the country’s Internet governing body.