Marigot, Saint Martin. October 11, 2022—The Saint Martin internet exchange point (IXP) will officially launch on October 21, in a formal event hosted by the Collectivity of Saint Martin. The launch of the Saint Martin IXP, called Smart-IX, comes under the auspices of the CaribIX project, which is coordinated by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
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.
“In Saint Martin, the CaribIX project aims to create a digital bridge to existing Internet infrastructure in Sint Maarten, to facilitate inter-island traffic exchange and strengthen the domestic network,” said Mr Gary Kalloo, Director of Business Development and Implementation Support and CTU Lead on the CaribIX Project.
A strengthened domestic network means extra resilience in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane. For this reason, Smart-IX is expected to play a critical component in the territory’s disaster risk reduction strategy.
The Smart-IX launch comes after a long period of strategic collaboration between government, private sector and technical actors across the English and French-speaking Caribbean.
The CaribIX project was formally launched in a virtual ceremony in March 2022. The project received funding from the INTERREG Caraïbes programme, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union. The project also aims to set up internet exchange points in Saint Martin and Guadeloupe, and promises to deliver better Internet speed, security and service quality across the three territories.
In April, a delegation headed by Mr. Rodney Taylor, Secretary General of the CTU, visited H.E. Xavier Lédée, President of the Collectivité of Saint Barthelemy, Mr. Jean Claude Nelson, 9th Vice-President, Regional Council of Guadeloupe, and H.E. Louis Mussington, President of the Collectivité of Saint Martin.
In May, a CTU team of Internet development experts visited Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin and Guadeloupe to conduct strategic consultations and provide technical guidance on setting up and developing internet exchange points in all three territories.
The launch will be followed by the signing of an IXP memorandum of understanding, which signifies the willingness of the first IXP participants to begin peering. More participants are expected to join as Smart-IX continues to develop and grow.