Dominica launches local IXP

ixpThe National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) has joined three internet service providers here, LIME Dominica Limited, Marpin 2K4 Limited and SAT Telecommunications to establish Dominica’s Internet Exchange Point (IXP).

The network, called the Dominica National Internet Exchange Point (DANIX), was formally launched at a ceremony at the Fort Young Hotel on Wednesday evening.

An IXP is a physical piece of infrastructure, literally a switch that allows different internet service providers to exchange local traffic between their networks without cost.

Executive Director of the NTRC, Craig Nesty, has described the launch of IXP as a significant achievement for Dominica.

“This is a milestone that we should be proud of. Firstly, we are not only the second country in the O.E.C.S and the third in the English speaking Caribbean to implement such a network device, which enables more efficient use of the internet, but the whole process manifest a new dimension in the competitive telecommunications landscape, where the internet service providers (ISP) collaborated and cooperated for the greater national good,” he said.

Nesty explained that as a result of DANIX, internet traffic originating from one local IXP can terminate on another local IXP and vice-versa.

The benefit, according to him, is that all this will be done without having to go through lengthy, expensive, international routes.

“The routing configurations enable only traffic originating in Dominica on one ISP and destined for Dominica on a different ISP to traverse that switch,” he said.

Nesty made it clear that “This is not a device for Government to spy, as some have relayed.”

“While we can guarantee this venture will drive the retail cost of broad band down in the short term, it will however facilitate a number of new initiatives and reduce the amount of expensive international band width required by the ISP’s,” he said.

He said the IXP will allow for greater efficiency in accessing e-government initiatives.

“As Government provides more online services such as ASYCUDA, the Government of Dominica website and soon e-tax filing and other e-government initiatives, the IXP will enable greater efficiency and ensure that all internet subscribers on the island will have the most direct access to these services, irrespective of the ISP provider they subscribe to or the ISP provider who provides the connectivity to these services,” Nesty pointed out.

MNesty indicated that Ross University and Google have both welcomed the IXP initiative.

He encouraged local internet content providers on the island to make an effort to bring their content back to Dominica.

Meantime Minister responsible for Information, Telecommunications and Constituency Empowerment, Ambrose George, has described the development as another major milestone in the island’s telecommunications liberalization process.

“As a continuum of the process towards the journey, today’s occasion also highlights the continued opportunities to harness the rich potential of the creative and cohesive combination of public and private sector initiative and action,” he said.

George noted further, “that of significance are the benefits it presents for stimulating a new entrepreneurial class and the opportunities that are potentially available in content development, cost reduction and better quality of service to the internet eco-system.”

The Minister challenged the NTRC to facilitate training programs for stakeholders to better inform them on the importance and benefits of IXP’s.

“I urge you as NTRC, as regulator, that in the next six to twelve months, you bring together stakeholders, such as engineers from the three Internet Service Providers (ISP’s), other regulatory entities, the Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC), the Bureau of Standards, Financial Institutions, local tertiary institutions, the tax, customs and revenue authorities among others to receive technical hands on training as it relates to the benefits of IXP’s,” he said.

The NTRC received technical expertise in setting up its IXP from the Caribbean Telecommunications Union/Packet Clearing House.

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15 Comments

  1. Listening
    March 2, 2013

    This will not reduce cost to the consumer for broadband services the GOVT knows it. Sure it gives the Govt access to local information traverse between ISPs and access to ISP network which provide potential opportunity for hacking these network.
    How is this local IXP reducing the expense for international ISP requiremenst that is need by the ISP on island, when the same requirements is already needed to fullfill the local ISP INTL internet traffic. So could we not achieve this by asking all the ISPs to inteconnect with LIME as it is the incumbent rather setup an IXP with GOVT access. Also would not the local ISP license required all local ISP to be interconnection to each before launching their operation.

    People be on the alert something is wrong here!

  2. techsoup
    March 2, 2013

    To the people expecting more speed and lower costs of service, don’t get your hopes up. This will only serve to benefit local traffic, which is probably less than 5% of the internet traffic of most dominicans. The most I can see coming out of this are low cost/high speed VPNs for companies, low cost VOIP services for local calls and increase in efficiency of internet services provided by local companies such as online banking, e-billing etc.
    This isn’t exactly the “internet bill drops by $20 and seamless streaming of HD content” kind of thing.

  3. cool bear
    March 1, 2013

    Any computer/informatics specialist will tell you that the main benefit of this will be to to the government SPY agency aka NJIC, with this facility they can now tap into every bit of email and other data leaving Dominica.

    Apart from that it will not serve any benefit to the average user as Dominica don’t have the economies of scale or the telecoms traffic to justify this move.

  4. Anonymous
    March 1, 2013

    this is just another spy tool for the government

  5. legit
    February 28, 2013

    so will my streams continue to buff?

    • MrSoutCity
      March 1, 2013

      Pretty much!! Unless you streaming something that’s hosted in Dominica….

  6. MrSoutCity
    February 28, 2013

    Correct me if I am wrong of you the traffic is limited to the local providers, how is this going to bring down the cost of service? The local providers still have to get the external service from a global provider such as global crossing or level 4…..

    • Boba
      February 28, 2013

      There is no such company called “level 4” its level3 and they bought global crossing.

      • MrSoutCity
        March 1, 2013

        I realized the mistake after I hit post. Didn’t know they purchased Global Crossing tho…

  7. BiGmE
    February 28, 2013

    How soon will we see the effects of this IXP as a tech person I know the benefits what to know if it will be passed on to us as consumers. 8)

  8. octo
    February 28, 2013

    Looking forward to lower cost cost of internet connection. But how do I have to wait for that?

  9. Stealth Critique
    February 28, 2013

    Finally, almost a decade overdue.

    • Anonymous
      March 1, 2013

      Why a decade overdue? The IXP is only NOW proliferating the Caribbean? Only Grenada, Dominica and BVI have opertional IXP’s now. I would say, this is ‘kudoe’ to Dominica.

  10. Malatete
    February 28, 2013

    Excellent news. We now look forward to faster speeds at lower consumer costs to make us truly competitive on a global level.

    • Nudibranch
      March 3, 2013

      we already pay for 10Mb download speed, I’d like to meet anyone here whose internet approaches anything like they advertise. Basically they are advertising a service that is still being operated on a system/cables that were good for when we had 128k. the whole system needs rebuilding before IXP and speed as advertised becomes apparent. Congrats on becoming the 2nd country etc etc, but we wont see any real benefit for a while will we?

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