Telecoms firm explains why internet exchange points not currently feasible

A telecoms company believes that the establishment of internet exchange points (IXPs) in The Bahamas is not immediately feasible for local internet traffic, save for the routing of e-government services, a Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) consultation response reveals.

Last Mile Communications Limited responded to URCA’s call for consultation on the establishment of IXPs, and the company’s response was posted on URCA’s website.

URCA explained in its consultation document that IXPs can make data transmission along the internet locally quicker and less expensive. According to that document, IXPs are “the technical points, infrastructure or facilities through which internet service providers (ISPs) and content distributors/aggregators connect with one another and are thus central to the digital infrastructure for the internet in a country”.

Last Mile contended in its response that while it believes the establishment of IXPs could be a good thing, the level of local internet traffic “is not significant on its own to justify the establishment of an IXP”.

The company added that an IXP could be beneficial in order to keep government information within the jurisdiction and therefore within the confines of the territory’s law.

“We believe that there is intrinsic value in keeping e-government transactions that may have to cross multiple carriers local,” Last Mile said in the document.

“When such transactions leave the jurisdiction, they are no longer covered by local data protection legislation.”

Last Mile further explained why there might not be much justification in establishing multiple IXPs. “It is important to note that in order to directly participate in an IXP, the participant, must have an autonomous system number (ASN) with allocated IP (internet protocol) space from ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers). Currently there are only eight ASNs assigned to The Bahamas, thus limiting the initial participation in an IXP,” Last Mile said.

“We believe that the value of establishing an IXP in The Bahamas lies outside of the ‘local internet traffic’ premise for the following reasons: caching server access for IXP participants and local offsite hosting and backup services.”

Last Mile explained in the document that for local offsite hosting and backup services, a local loop service would be less expensive than sending the data by broadband.

The company explained that in regards to caching server access for IXP participants, “By pooling all of the media content type service demand in one location it would give an IXP the necessary volumes to deploy caching servers from the larger content.

“For smaller ISPs and other potential participants, such as large hotels and resorts, access to locally cached services could represent a significant savings in broadband internet cost,” Last Mile said in the document.

“We do not believe that local content demand will be large enough to support an IXP on its own.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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