Peter J. de Blanc
1944 To 2002
ATN and Choice Communications join with the Virgin Islands in mourning the loss of Peter J. de Blanc, who died of cancer June 26, 2002.
Peter was the pioneer of internet in the Virgin Islands, bringing the first public internet access VIP FreeNet in September 1994. His company, COBEX International, introduced the first commercial Internet service in June 1995, bringing the islands.vi Internet addresses to life. Peter consulted, wired, networked, equipped, problem solved, and advised many of the businesses on these islands over the last twenty years.
Since his work with the United Nations and UNIDO, Peter was committed to the technological advancement of developing countries. In October 1995 he presented a paper at the INET Conference in Hawaii on Networking the Caribbean via VIP FreeNet. The INET 1997 was held in Guadeloupe and Peter presented another paper on The Economic Impact of the Internet to the Caribbean. He consulted with countries and companies throughout the Caribbean.
The past several years Peter has been working extensively with the international development and management of top-level domain names. He was elected to the Names Counsel of ICANN, the Internet Corporation responsible for the assignment of domain names and numbers. He was elected the Chairman of the Administrative Committee of the CCTLD, a constituency of 244 countries managing their country code internet top level domain name. Peter was referred to, as the voice of reason, when a meeting was focused on consensus formation among many nations. Peter was invited to travel to Bangkok, China, Ghana and Egypt to name a few, to assist with the management of their country code registries and concepts dealing with multi-lingual domain names.
Music was one of Peters greatest loves. In his early years his technical genius was used to set the sound stages for the rock concerts many of us attended in the states. More recently Peter could be seen and heard as he took his recorder from his pocket and blew a few notes in accompaniment to any music being played. He enjoyed playing his baby grand and loved impromptu musical gatherings whether in his home or out.
Peter was a technological genius. He shared his knowledge freely. He had the unusual ability to make technical components and details understandable to mortals. He was a mentor to many and a friend to all. He was always willing to give someone a chance to learn if they wanted. He was always giving back to the world for all the help he felt so many had given to him.
He made a difference. He will truly be missed.