JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The country is expected to save more than US$2 million per year, with the creation of the Jamaica Internet Exchange Point (IXP).
  • An IXP allows local Internet service providers to exchange Internet traffic between their networks at a reduced cost.
  • The establishment of an IXP in Jamaica will keep local-bound Internet traffic within the nation’s borders.

The country is expected to save more than US$2 million per year, with the creation of the Jamaica Internet Exchange Point (IXP), scheduled for implementation by the end of July.

An IXP allows local Internet service providers to exchange Internet traffic between their networks at a reduced cost.

Making the disclosure on Wednesday, May 21, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, noted that, currently, all Jamaican Internet traffic is routed through the United States, which “comes at an extra cost to Jamaica, its people, and businesses”.

The Minister was making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.

He pointed out that this routing arrangement hinders effective local Internet development, and stymies content development by the country’s creators.

The establishment of an IXP in Jamaica will keep local-bound Internet traffic within the nation’s borders, instead of routing it through expensive international links, as normally obtains in most developing countries.

Mr. Hylton informed that his Ministry, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, and other stakeholders such as Internet service providers and content developers, “are actively engaged in making the Jamaica IXP a reality”.

“We need to shift from being net consumers to becoming major producers of local content, via cheaper, faster Internet services with larger band width, serving our various Internet Service and content providers,” he said.

He noted that the establishment of the Jamaica IXP is even more significant as the Government moves ahead with its Global Logistics Hub initiative. This is a core plank in the administration’s economic growth strategy, and seeks to drive investment and create sustainable employment over the long term.

It aims to take advantage of the anticipated increase in trade activities as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion by 2015.The development of the Jamaica Logistics Hub will position the country to become the fourth node in the global logistics chain.

The Minister pointed out that local businesses are now gearing up and expanding their operations in anticipation of “the explosion of international business to come”, which he described as the ‘hub effect’.

He noted that this has caught on in the private sector with several telecommunications companies undertaking various investment initiatives to boost their service capabilities.

“LIME has adopted the phrase ‘hub ready’ to describe their multi-billion dollar investment in a modern, world-class fibre optic network to support the Jamaica Logistics Hub Initiative,” he said, noting that the telecommunications company is investing $8.7 billion to deploy a cutting-edge 4G mobile network “in anticipation of the intense commercial demand for business solutions that will come with the hub.

The Minister further noted that Digicel Business, in support of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) needs of investors in the hub, has invested $6 billion over the past year in Jamaica’s 4G network, and is rolling out a sophisticated underground fibre network.

In addition, he noted that Flow’s latest roll-out in broadband technology including cloud services, will enable rich communications solutions, and seamless movement of information across industries.