I recently attended an IXP workshop in Samoa, coordinated by the Telecommunications Regulator, and for me, it really illustrated that a small community can get together and make an IXP possible.
Why would Samoa want an IXP? As with many developing economies in the Pacific, local traffic in Samoa is routed over international links. As a result it is expensive and contributes to poor connectivity. An IXP would help reduce delay, and improve the quality of service along with reducing operational cost.
At this event, a number of partner organizations presented complementary viewpoints; ICANN about partnership for local Internet development, APNIC on supporting IXP development, NSRC covering the technical prospective and VIX sharing Vanuatu’s experience.
There was a really good turnout, representative of a number of different stakeholder types including ISPs, banks, ministries, universities and Samoan IT society.
After completion of presentations, attendees were divided into four breakout groups:
- Group 1 – An IXP working group
- Group 2 – Requirements for building and IXP
- Group 3 – Content provision
- Group 4 – Follow up activities
After working within the groups, we came back together and had a healthy discussion. The intention was to outline a development plan and implementation strategy.
Since this event, two working groups have been established. The first will focus on the technical issues, and the second on policy and administrative matters. Each group will cover terms of reference in order to accomplish their goal of an IXP for Samoa.
APNIC supports IXP development in the region by collaborating with other organizations (ICANN, ISOC and NSRC). APNIC also supports IXP activities by way of Technical Assistance.
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