Port of Spain, Trinidad – October 8, 2014: Trinidad and Tobago’s Internet Exchange Point is now fully operational, says Kurleigh Prescod, Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Internet Exchange, the non-profit company established to manage the realization and operation of this facility.
Mr Prescod, who is also Vice President of Network Services at Columbus Communications Trinidad Limited said, “It took eight months, from the convening of the first Board meeting in November 2013 to June 2014 before it became fully operational, however we wanted to ensure that the majority of the Internet Service Providers involved were properly connected before we announced. My Board colleagues and I are proud to bring this long-standing initiative to fruition, in alignment with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s smarTT ICT plan.”
An Internet Exchange Point (IXP) facilitates the exchange of local Internet traffic between the Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Fujitsu Caribbean Ltd agreed to provide rack space and the IXP switch at its data centre in Barataria free of charge for four years, and each ISP bore its own costs to connect to the IXP.
Cris Seecheran, Executive Director of the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) said, ““The implementation of an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) represents a significant milestone in the telecommunications infrastructure in Trinidad and Tobago and will greatly facilitate the advancement of Internet services provision to both consumers and the business community and will also assist in promoting the development of the local content industry.”
Trinidad joins the growing number of countries with an Internet exchange point, which is seen as a critical enabler of the Internet economy, and promises increased Internet quality of performance. The main stakeholders involved in establishing the IXP include TSTT, Digicel, Massy Communications, Flow, Greendot Limited, LISA, Open Telecom, Fujitsu Caribbean, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, Packet Clearing House, the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Center (LACNIC) and TATT.
Mr Prescod said, “One IXP is enough, but talks of another have begun for redundancy and increased accessibility. It’s an exciting achievement and the man on the street can expect better performance of local Internet applications and services across ISPs. Plus, the existence of an IXP fosters an environment for greater Internet-based development and entrepreneurship.”
The IXP is seen as a critical component of broadband infrastructure that is necessary for the development of a knowledge-based society driven by the adoption of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the encouragement of locally-hosted Internet applications. The IXP will increase the robustness and privacy of local communications between end users, reduce the reliance on international network facilities for exchanging native Internet traffic, and deliver improvements in the quality of Internet access to consumers in Trinidad and Tobago for services and local content.