September 28, 2020

Trinidad and Tobago launches internet exchange point


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news2From Caribbean News Now

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Trinidad and Tobago has become the latest Caribbean nation to launch an Internet exchange point (IXP).

Called TTIX, the local IXP brings together seven of the country’s Internet service providers (ISPs). Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), Digicel, Massy Communications, Open Telecom, Greendot, Lisa Communications and Flow have signed on to the local exchange point.

TTIX connects the ISPs to a special network switch that is physically located at the Fujitsu data center in Barataria.

The new exchange point will give the ISPs a cost-effective way to connect their customers to locally destined content and services.

The chairman of TTIX is Kurleigh Prescod of Columbus Communications, who described the launch as “a very significant milestone.”

Globally, IXPs have been shown to improve the resilience, efficiency and security of local networks.

Prescod said the new IXP will improve local Internet performance and “act as an incentive to attract content providers, such as Netflix, Akamai and Google, to establish a point of presence in Trinidad and Tobago.”

There are over 350 IXPs around the world. Trinidad and Tobago became the ninth in the Caribbean, joining British Virgin Islands (BVIX), Curacao (AMS-IX), Dominica (DANIX), Grenada (GREX), Haiti, St Maarten (OCIX), St Lucia (SLIX) and the Dominican Republic.

Jean-Paul Dookie, executive vice president of government business for Fujitsu described the new exchange point as “an essential building block towards the development of the Trinidad and Tobago knowledge economy.”

The promise of a better local Internet experience, data security and commercial opportunities has been one of the greatest incentives to establishing IXPs across the Caribbean.

“Tremendous progress has been made in sensitizing the region to the importance of building out national Internet infrastructure. Now we are seeing the fruit,” said Bernadette Lewis, secretary general of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).

Lewis described the TTIX launch as a direct result years of education, outreach and ongoing efforts by the CTU to promote the proliferation of IXPs in the Caribbean. The CTU’s collaboration with international organisations such as Packet Clearing House, the Internet Society (ISOC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has played a key role in raising awareness of the importance of local IXPs in Trinidad and Tobago and across the region.

Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines are actively engaged in setting up IXPs.

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