ICTA calls for local internet exchange

| 10/11/2016 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): As the Information & Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) deals with yet another internet outage that has been effecting some users this week, officials are again calling for local telecoms providers (ISPs) to establish a local internet exchange point (IXP). The authority said that the local internet service providers’ reliance on overseas providers means they have no control over off-island equipment negatively impacting the local internet.

“The authority has been regularly meeting with its licensees to discuss establishing a local internet exchange point, which will largely reduce the effects of outages affecting ISPs and their respective customers’ connectivity quality, as well as add further layers of security for local communications,” said Sonji Myles, ICTA Acting Deputy Director Industry Affairs. “The number of customers currently affected by this outage could have been reduced to zero if a full functioning IXP was already in place.”

The ICTA said they received the report of the internet service interruption on 7 November from a licensee, which the authority did not name. All the customers of this ISP were hit due to its wholesale internet provider experiencing failure on equipment located in Boca Raton, Florida.

The outage was discovered at 5am, and although an update received by the ICTA indicated that a restoration was expected by mid-day, some customers are still being affected, the authority said. “ The outage also affected third parties attempting to communicate between local operators due to the absence of local on-island communications interconnection or exchange points,” officials added.

All Cayman’s internet providers — C3, Digicel, Logic and Flow — are reliant on wholesale ISPs to provide each of them with connectivity, and communications traverse off-island along undersea cable systems. This means that off-island equipment failure impacts the internet as well as other local and international communication.

But Myles remained optimistic that something could be done, saying that the meetings with the local providers have been very productive.

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Category: ICT, Technology

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