The governments of Guadeloupe, St. Barthélemy and St. Martin will this month receive a delegation headed by Mr. Rodney Taylor, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
While in the territories, Mr. Taylor will pay courtesy visits to H.E. Ary Chalus, President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe, H.E. Xavier Lédée, President of the Collectivité of Saint Barthelemy, and H.E. Louis Mussington, President of the Collectivité of Saint Martin.
The Secretary-General’s visits come under the auspices of the recently launched CaribIX initiative, coordinated by the CTU. The CaribIX project aims to set up Internet exchange points in the three territories.
Through the CaribIX project and this particular visit of the CTU team, Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin will have access to expertise from the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), who will conduct strategic consultations in all three territories from April 25, in order to provide technical guidance on setting up and operating the new Internet exchange points.
This CaribIX initiative signals a major step forward for the Caribbean Internet landscape. Since 2006, the CTU has been promoting the establishment and operation of internet exchange points throughout the region. There are now twelve (12) IXPs in the Caribbean and hundreds of others across the world.
An Internet exchange point is a piece of physical infrastructure that allows network operators to interconnect and exchange traffic locally without having to resort to expensive international routes. By setting up new Internet exchange points in Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin, the CaribIX project promises to deliver better Internet speed, security and service quality across the three territories.
The new Internet exchange points will help ensure that consumers’ domestic Internet traffic stays on-island. In Saint Barthélemy, for example, that increase in the local routing of network traffic is expected to translate into tangible improvements in network performance, thus improving the experience of the island’s users of Internet and telecommunications services.
In Saint Martin, the possibility of creating a digital bridge to existing Internet infrastructure in Sint Maarten, will facilitate inter-island traffic exchange. A strengthened domestic network also means extra resilience in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane, which can result in the failure of international facilities.
This most recent collaboration between the CTU, local governments, participating network operators and other stakeholders is expected to produce other tangible benefits. The CaribIX project aims to foster social and economic development in the islands, as IXPs can facilitate local content development and other digital innovation. In Guadeloupe, for example, the imminent establishment of an Internet exchange point will contribute to digital transformation and facilitate digital entrepreneurship.
The CaribIX project received funding from the INTERREG Caraïbes programme, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union. It was formally launched in a virtual ceremony on March 21 and is expected to run until October 2022.