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Fiji Time: 8:44 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Strategist urges stakeholders to work together

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, November 29, 2012

FIJI's internet users should not rely on costly international data transit but to establish their own net for economic growth.

And stakeholders in the private and public sectors as well as general internet users should move with alacrity to ensure that Fiji can bring the proven benefits of exchange points to the domestic internet economy.

Speaking at the Novotel Convention Centre in Lami , internet strategist with a US-based research firm Packet Clearing House, Bevil Wooding said stakeholders and internet users should work together and speak up for the establishment of the local net, the Internet Exchange Points (IXP)

The primary role of an IXP is to keep local internet traffic within local infrastructure. IXPs also allow ISPs to reduce the costs associated with traffic exchange between their networks.

"For instance, Selina, a Kidanet customer living in Suva, decides to send an email to her boyfriend Timothy, a Connect customer who lives in Labasa," said Mr Wooding.

"The email journeys as data packets that must travel out of Fiji, to a switching point in a foreign country, just to be returned to Fiji.

"Such routing comes at a high cost to local Internet Service Providers (ISPs)."

Mr Wooding has been directly involved in the proliferation of IXPs in the Caribbean region, working closely with ISPs, regulators, governments and other national and regional stakeholders in the process.

He said it also subjects local data to possible inspection in foreign countries.

Furthermore, he said it results in unnecessary haemorrhage of local capital as local ISPs pay to send traffic out only to bring it back in to the country over costly international links.

"Within the internet community, IXPs are considered to be essential to facilitating Internet-based economic growth.

"The absence of IXPs compromises our ability to build a robust domestic internet ecosystem and economy."