My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Jamaica's Local Internet Exchange Point - Why IXP makes browsers load faster and Jamaican Domain Name Registration easier

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jamaica's Local Internet Exchange Point - Why IXP makes browsers load faster and Jamaican Domain Name Registration easier

“When you send an email now, it goes to your provider, then to Miami, then back to the provider before it reaches the recipient. That is time and cost. A switch within the same country means savings in foreign exchange and is a lot quicker”

Director for Quality Management at the OUR, Leighton Hamilton

Its official folks!

Jamaica finally has its own IXP (Internet Exchange Point), something which was long needed in Jamaica as reported in the article “OUR Touts Local IXP For Internet Traffic - Switch Installed In September”, Published Sunday November 16, 2014 by Avia Collinder, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner, and which most Server Administrators understand makes a whole lot of different when it comes to Website Hosting.

The implementation of the IXP is thanks to the work of the IXP Working Group established in January 2014 that consists of the following Telecom Interests and Jamaican Government entities:

1.      eGov
2.      Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce
3.      Ministry of Science Technology Energy & Mining
4.      OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation)
5.      Telecom Provider Digicel
6.      Telecom Provider LIME
7.      Triple Play Provider FLOW
8.      University of the West Indies

The OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) is excited about it and so am I, already going out of their way to promote its usage as per the article “Content, culture and control - A Local Internet Exchange Point makes access better!”, Published Sunday November 16, 2014, by Gordon Michael Swaby, Contributor The Jamaica Gleaner. Triple Play Provider FLOW has already connected to the IXP and the other Telecom Providers will soon follow suit!

But what exactly is this IXP and why should you really care?

Jamaica's Local IXP - Lower Routing and Web Hosting costs encourages Local and International Jamaican Domain Names

The New IXP located in Papine, St Andrew, will now mean that persons interested in Local Streaming Services, Email and Social Networks can now do so more cheaply. This as the IXP is basically Jamaica finally getting its own physical Server for our Jamaican Domain “,,”, making it possible to have Local Domain name Hosting for Online Services.

For example, currently when you access Gmail, you're really accessing their Cloud Servers that host you email all the way in the US of A that routed through the Gateway Switch here in Jamaica, depending on your ISP i.e. Telecom Provider LIME or Digicel or FLOW and then routed unto the Gateway switch in Miami, Florida and then passes on over their Telecoms Networks to their Servers in Mountain View, California or elsewhere.

It also has implications for businesses and individuals applying for a “,,” Domain name.

With a Local IXP, we now have a Local Server to host our “,,” Domain name for Local Websites, making it possible for both Local and International Companies to rent space to set up their Cloud Servers and provision wholly Jamaican Services without having to pay for the additional cost of routing their Internet traffic to their Websites all the way to their Servers in the US of A.

It'll also mean that the “,,” Domain name Services, which are actually free being offered by Third Party Website Hosting Companies at added on costs as high as US$65 per year may also fall.

The current free process, which requires filling out a cumbersome text-only form which is being handled by a single person at UWI (University of the West Indies), the guardians of the “,,” Domain name may also be automated as noted in the article “How To Register Jamaican Domain Name”, published May 24, 2011 by Paul Allen, Paul Allen. That means hours to register a “,,” Domain, not months as is currently the case.

Thus Services such as Netflix may be finally motivated to improve their Services here in Jamaica as per the criticism of Geezam writer Ramano in his Geezam blog article entitled “Is Netflix a Netjoke?”, knowing that they don't have to pay the additional costs of Routing Traffic from Jamaica to their Cloud Servers in the US of A by simply hosting their Server at the IXP Facility!

Not to mention being a lot easier and professionally done!

Jamaica's Local IXP - Faster loading times for 3G Internet users as MNP, LNP Approaches

Localizing their Websites with the unique “,,” Domain reduces not only the cost of Hosting and associated Internet connectivity costs but also the time take to fetch information from Websites, which will be especially noticeable by persons and 3G Wireless Broadband connections on smartphones and Tablets.

To quote Director for Quality Management at the OUR,  Leighton Hamilton, for Telecom Providers the IXP, which is really a Gateway Switch for Broadband Internet will “significantly reduces network latency due to improved bandwidth and shorter distances for the data to travel because domestic-bound traffic does not have to be routed via International links before being delivered”.

That last part is the benefit to Local Telecom Providers, who are being invited to run their own Fiber Optic Cables to the IXP located at the Papine, St Andrew and connect for free and possibly discontinue paying for the IXP that they and 1000 other Telecom Providers pay to access in Florida.

This doesn’t mean they'll abandon the IXP in Florida totally; they still have to use it to terminate International Voice Calls as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to set up an International Calling Plan for Digicel or LIME Prepaid and Postpaid”. Jamaican may be late to the IXP game, with Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia, and Dominica having gone ahead of us, but we’re finally got a good reason to have it in place: the coming of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) and LNP (Landline Number Portability) by May 2015.

Especially as the OUR has already put out a TPPR (Technical & Price Proposal Requirements Request) document for a Number Portability Administrator in Jamaica as detailed in my blog article entitled “OUR issues TPPR for a Number Portability Administrator in Jamaica - How Number Portability will get us NANP's NPA and Third 4G Competitor”, signaling Jamaica's readiness for MNP (Mobile Number Portability) and LNP (Landline Number Portability) come May 2015.

Exciting times ahead for Website admins, as the new IXP not only means cheaper Web Hosting  as American Web Hosting companies set up Servers at the Papine Facility provided by the OUR, but also a more efficient  “,,” Domain name Services. This means Third Party Website Hosting Companies may also fall in cost as well as the expansion and possible automation of the process of getting a Jamaican Domain name, making the process that much easier.

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