Developments in the Caribbean digital space are fuelling initiatives to strengthen the internet infrastructure in the region. In Guadeloupe, a recent agreement among three internet service providers has cleared the way for the island to establish its first internet exchange point.
Commonly called an IXP or an IX, an internet exchange point is a critical element of internet infrastructure used to interconnect networks and deliver data traffic between them. There are hundreds of IXPs in the world, with more than a dozen already in the Caribbean in countries including Belize, Curacao, Grenada, Haiti, St Maarten and Trinidad and Tobago. The IXPs in the Caribbean are already providing benefits to internet users in those countries. IXPs improve the internet experience for users by reducing the time it takes for internet traffic to flow between participating networks. They strengthen the resilience of local networks and facilitate the development of local internet content and services.
Three of Guadeloupe’s internet service providers—Dauphin Telecom, Orange Caraïbe and SFR—signalled their intent to grow the Caribbean internet by signing a memorandum of understanding that outlines the terms for the region’s newest IXP, called GIX.
“Infrastructure is the foundation of a strong internet,” said Eve Riboud, chief executive at Dauphin Telecom.
The three competitors control some 80 percent of the local market of residential and mobile internet users.
The memorandum was also signed by Guadeloupe Data Centre, who will host GIX, and by Guadeloupe Tech, a professional association of entrepreneurs, businesses and internet service providers operating in the island’s growing digital space.
“All GuadeloupeTech members are members of GIX,” said Betty Fausta, president of GuadeloupeTech.
With GuadeloupeTech on board, GIX could have a relatively large and diverse group of participants with the potential to create local content that could generate local traffic across the local service providers’ networks.
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