Internet experts favour Guatemala exchange point

guillermo_cicileo.jpg GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala -- Internet service providers in Guatemala have expressed a commitment to explore ways to work together to strengthen the local Internet. This significant step forward for the country's Internet landscape was facilitated by a regional technology conference held in Guatemala City from March 20 to 22.

Several Internet service providers attended the three-day meeting, called LACNIC On the Move, where they expressed interest in working together to establish an Internet Exchange Point, or IXP, in Guatemala. An IXP is a piece of Internet infrastructure through which the ISPs could exchange local Internet traffic between their networks.

Alfredo Verderosa, manager of the Services Department at LACNIC, said that the establishment of an IXP would be “a very positive development for the development of Guatemala’s Internet.”

LACNIC is the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Address Registry, a non-governmental organisation based in Uruguay. Since its establishment in 2002, LACNIC has played a leading role in developing a single, open, stable and secure Internet at the service of the development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Guillermo Cicileo, coordinator of security, stability and resilience at LACNIC, said, “All Internet service providers, even fierce competitors, would do well to consider the superior benefits of working together for the greater good.”

A local IXP would improve the quality and cost effectiveness of delivering local web-based services to Guatemalan citizens and businesses, which is in turn a major benefit for local ISPs, Cicileo explained.

The IXP would also enable new forms of local innovation and entrepreneurship, allowing Internet users to capitalise on e-commerce opportunities, he added.

In other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, IXPs have done more than address the inefficiency of local Internet traffic exchange. They have also allowed other important Internet infrastructure to be located in-country, such as domain name root services and content delivery caches from major content networks such as Netflix, Akamai and Google.

“We encouraged all interested parties to form an informal group and to continue to hold talks around the possibility of establishing the first Guatemalan IXP as a matter of urgent priority,” Cicileo said.

The next LACNIC On The Move event is expected to take place in Guyana in October.