The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), together with US-based research firm Packet Clearing House (PCH), is working with officials in St Lucia and in St Vincent and the Grenadines to improve the countries’ Internet infrastructure.
The CTU hosted back to back two-day workshops with stakeholders in each country to discuss implementation of local Internet exchange points (IXPs). The workshops included Internet service providers, local content providers, academics, business leaders and government officials, and focused on the role, value and requirements of a local IXP.
Secretary General of the CTU, Bernadette Lewis, said the workshops were part of the CTU’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of establishing an IXP for the local Internet system.
She said proliferation of IXPs in the Caribbean could help improve the delivery of local Internet services such as video conferencing, voice of IP, data backup and even online gaming.
Bevil Wooding, an Internet strategist with PCH, speaking at the workshop, said addressing the infrastructure challenge and improving the efficiency of local data traffic exchange was a critical step in improving the quality and lowering the cost of providing local Internet services.
“Packet Clearing House has been working closely with ISPs and governments in the region to support the implementation of Internet Exchange points regionally,” said Wooding.
He added the internet exchange project is in the interest of all Internet users in the region as “it not only strengthens the resilience of local Internet infrastructure, it also opens a host of new opportunities for local entrepreneurs and innovators to build products and services that meet local needs and create new global possibilities.”
The initiative is part of the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP), a World Bank funded initiative designed to strengthen regional telecommunications infrastructure and improve the quality and resilience of services to consumers and businesses.