St Lucia launching SLiX
CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) – St Lucia is hoping to join other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries in establishing an internet exchange point (IXP) that would significantly reduce the cost of communications.
The island is expected to launch the IXP, called “SLiX”, to coincide with the 35th anniversary of political independence from Britain today.
The World Bank-funded Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP) will have internet traffic originating from one St Lucian internet service provider (ISP) and will now terminate on another local ISP’s network without having to go through lengthy, expensive, international routes.
CARCIP addresses gaps in submarine cable infrastructure and landing stations, domestic backbone networks and national IXPs.
“We are very proud as part of the CARCIP programme to be the latest country in the English-speaking Caribbean to implement an exchange point,” said Christopher Roberts, CARCIP’s local coordinator.
He said the IXP is a critical component of telecommunications infrastructure that allows local Internet service providers to exchange locally-destined Internet traffic between their networks without cost.
Internet Strategist and Caribbean Outreach manager for US-based Packet Clearing House, (PCH) Bevil Wooding, describes the new IXP as “a significant step away from unnecessary dependence on foreign infrastructure and a movement toward new levels of technical independence”.
He said the net effect would be the reduction in the time it takes for data to move between customers of the island’s various Internet service providers. This brings potentially higher connectivity speeds for local traffic and, ultimately, a better quality of service for Internet subscribers.
PCH is a globally recognised expert in the field of IXP implementation, having built or supported more than one third of the world’s 300-plus exchange points.
The establishment of St Lucia IXP is also expected to stimulate locally driven, Internet-based enterprise and innovation.