St. Lucia Gearing Up To Have Its Own Internet Exchange Point (IXP)
St. Lucia is about to celebrate its 35th anniversary since its independence from its British Colonial masters in 1979, and to mark this great event St. Lucia will be launching its very own Internet Exchange Point (IXP) making it the next Caribbean country to have its own IXP. The St. Lucia IXP dubbed SLiX, is expected to free the Caribbean Island local internet traffic from the current expensive and lengthy international routes which the island currently relies on.
The IXP is an important critical infrastructure for telecommunication that will allow St. Lucia’s locals ISP to exchange locally-destined internet traffic within their networks without incurring the conventional high costs. Christopher Roberts, the Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP) Coordinator in St. Lucia had this to say: “We are very proud as part of the CARCIP program to be the latest country in the English-speaking Caribbean to implement an exchange point”.
St. Lucia establishing its own IXP marks a significant shift from unnecessary dependence on the foreign infrastructure and a step forward towards new and better levels of technical independence. The net effect of this initiative will be significant reduction in the time it will take data to travel from one customer to the next within St. Lucia’s various ISPs. Potentially benefit will include faster connectivity speed for the local traffic and in the long run the internet subscribers will have better quality internet connection.
Ultimately the establishment of St. Lucia’s own IXP will stimulate locally grown and driven internet based innovation, enterprise and e-learning. CARCIP is taking the initiative in St. Lucia as a test run and see its impact in St. Lucia and use this knowledge to benefit other regions in Caribbean. CARCIP as an organization addresses the gaps between submarine cable infrastructure and the landing stations, the domestic backbone networks and the national internet exchange points.
The CARCIP project was allocated $25 million dollars, and it is working together with the governments of the Caribbean countries on harmonizing telecommunications infrastructure development to maximize synergies and put the current inefficiencies in books of history.