A new regional project will bring together Internet experts from around the world to help develop the Internet infrastructure of Guadeloupe, St Barthélemy and St Martin. Called CaribIX, the project will harness regional and international expertise to improve the quality of Internet service in these three islands.
The project is co-financed by the INTERREG Caraïbes programme under the European Development Fund of the European Union. The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) is coordinating the regional project, with the Caribbean Network Operators Group supporting the CTU at the regional level.
The project will kick off with a virtual launch and ceremonial signing which will take place on 21st March at 2:30 p.m. (AST). Mr. Rodney Taylor, Secretary-General of the CTU, will deliver remarks alongside country representatives from Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy. Mr. Taylor along with a representative from INTERREG will sign an agreement to officially launch the project. The virtual launch is open to the public. Event details and registration information are available on the CTU website.
The project’s overall objective is to create an economically viable broadband Internet network and to facilitate the exchange of Internet traffic among the French-speaking territories and other Caribbean jurisdictions. To this end, the CTU will provide technical guidance on setting up and operating internet exchange points in all three territories.
An Internet Exchange Point, or IXP, is a piece of Internet infrastructure that allows network operators to interconnect their networks in order to exchange traffic locally without having to resort to expensive international infrastructure. With COVID-related public health measures affecting many aspects of everyday life, the establishment of IXPs can also play a significant role in the efficient and cost effective delivery of government services such as e-health and e-education.
In Guadeloupe, the project implementing partner, Conseil Régional Guadeloupe, aims to continue its commitment to building out Internet infrastructure contributing to the digitization of the island by setting up an IXP that will help increase local routing of the island’s Internet traffic. This will also strengthen on-island network resilience and facilitate the development of a new digital economy.
In Saint Martin, the project implementing partner TelEm aims to use the IXP to create a digital bridge to existing Internet infrastructure in Sint Maarten, to facilitate inter-island traffic exchange.
In Saint Barthélemy, the project implementing partner Collectivité de St Barthélemy aims to use the IXP to help increase local routing of network traffic thus improving the experience of the island’s users of Internet and telecommunications services.
IXPs also lay a basis for accelerated digital transformation, including digital entrepreneurship and the development of a local content industry.
Since 2006, the CTU has been promoting the establishment and operation of internet exchange points throughout the region. There are now twelve (12) Internet Exchange Points in the Caribbean, and hundreds of others across the world.
The CTU is proud to be an integral part of this initiative as it views this as a step in the right direction for regional integration, one fundamental element in direct support of its quest to establish the CARICOM Single ICT Space.
This communication cannot in any way be considered to reflect the opinion of the European Union or INTERREG. The European Commission and INTERREG are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained in this communication.