Castries, Saint Lucia. February 2, 2016– Three ECTEL/CARCIP Member States have been exploring the benefits and importance of Internet Exchange Points-IXPs to national development. To this end, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) in collaboration with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions (NTRC) and the National CARCIP Project Offices hosted a series of two day IXP capacity building workshops in Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia recently.
Addressing participants at the opening of the workshop in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Camillo Gonsalves, underscored the importance of the IXP to the developmental objectives of the country and given the potential benefits, highlighted its capacity for fostering investment, provision of quality jobs and the development and sharing of local content. He also noted the benefit of having traffic and content remaining local, especially as it related to the sharing of confidential and sensitive information.
An Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is “a network facility that enables the interconnection of more than two independent Autonomous Systems, primarily for the purpose of facilitating the exchange of Internet traffic.” Each country has established Internet Exchange Points with the Internet Service Providers peering to share local Internet traffic.
The establishment of the IXPs in each country is expected to provide substantial cost savings by eliminating the need to put all traffic through the more expensive long distance links to the rest of the world. These include, more bandwidth for local users as a result of the lower costs of local capacity; local links which can be as much as ten times faster because of the reduced latency in traffic and new local content providers and services, which rely on high-speed low-cost connections.
Some sixty participants drawn from ECTEL, NTRC, CTU, Internet Service Providers, Content Providers and Ministry of ICTs benefited from the workshops. The facilitator was Mike Jensen, IXP Expert with Great Village International Consultants.
The workshops formed part of the consultancy to strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for subsea cable, wholesale & retail access, quality of service and IXPs in support of the Caribbean Regional Communication Infrastructure Project (CARCIP) in Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.