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Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) are widely recognized as an integral element for Internet access and development worldwide.  At the Internet Society, we have a long track-record of working with partners around the world to build and support IXPs in developing countries.  We do this to support a broader enabling environment for the Internet, and to build better local connectivity.   Just this past week, I had the privilege of working with a broad group of stakeholders in Suriname and our partners at LACNIC in order to develop a plan to deploy an operational IXP in Suriname by 25 November 2013. 

 

Sofia Silva Berenguer (LACNIC), Gwen Amelo (TAS), Shernon Osepa (ISOC)

The country of Suriname has made great progress in recent years in expanding access to and use of the Internet in their country.  Unfortunately, IP Transit costs remain too high in Suriname, driving up the costs of Internet traffic across the country.  Additionally, web-site up-load speeds have been slow, quality of service has been a challenge, and access to local e-government services has been limited.  Successful deployment of an IXP can help improve citizens’ access to critical e-government services.

Source:  Wikipedia

The good news is that the local community is coming together with a strong plan for the deployment of an IXP in Suriname.  Last week, in partnership with LACNIC, ISOC helped to convene a multistakeholder seminar in Suriname to tackle the remaining challenges in the path to deployment of an IXP.   Twenty-two people from the government, telecom operators, ISPs, academia, LACNIC and the Internet Society met to coordinate on the steps needed to make this goal a reality.  The issues discussed included:

  • How the Internet functions
  • Peering vs. Transit
  • IP addressing
  • BGP
  • RPKI
  • IXP best practices
  • Specific Surinamese challenges

By building a local community based on trust and partnerships that is willing and able to tackle these challenges, I believe that Suriname is well-placed to meet its goal and operationalize the IXP by November 2013.  

Participants @ IXP Workshop Suriname

At the Internet Society, we are pleased to join with the community and partners like LACNIC and LAC-IX to help bring Internet infrastructure to underserved areas throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.   And, it is a personal honor for me to be part of this journey with Suriname toward greater connectivity.    I will keep the community posted on how this story unfolds over the coming months.

Note:  Funding for this workshop was provided in part through ISOC’s IXP Toolkit Grant & Best Practices Project, funded by Google.

 

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