Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Letter of the Day | OUR sets the record straight

Published:Thursday | November 3, 2016 | 11:00 AM

 THE EDITOR, Sir:

Reference is made to the article published in the Daily Gleaner of October 18, 2016 entitled Regulation: Telecommunication and Internet penetration written by Evan Duggan, PhD, visiting Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham and former Professor of MIS and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI Mona; and Din Duggan, Esq, Managing Director of a global legal services firm and a former Gleaner columnist.

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) takes notes of, and wishes to indicate its concurrence with the point emphasising the importance of an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Jamaica and the critical potential role the facility can play in further aiding innovation within the information and communication technology service space.

Indeed, it is the OUR's cognisance of this that has driven its initiative to secure such a facility for Jamaica for which it has been operating as custodian from its inception, pending the establishment of an appropriate governance framework by the participating entities.

 

NOT ENTIRELY ACCURATE

 

The OUR considers it important, however, to indicate that the statement made regarding "the failure of telecoms service providers in Jamaica to commence peering - or sharing data among themselves" is not entirely accurate. Contrary to what was stated in the article, there are in fact four entities peering at the IXP.

The more pertinent observation from the OUR's perspective, however, and consistent with the tenor of the article, is that the mere commencement of peering will not engender the benefits associated with the establishment of an IXP. The OUR is currently dissatisfied with the volume of traffic being exchanged at the IXP. Globally, IXPs have been based on voluntary participation and this is the model adopted by the Jamaican IXP. So far, however, it is disappointing that this model has produced limited outcomes locally, both in terms of the level of participants present at the facility and the volume of traffic being exchanged amongst these entities.

In recent times we have seen a modest increase in the traffic being exchanged amongst some participants of the IXP and we hope that this upward trend will continue. Ultimately, it is the OUR's vision that the IXP will realise its role as a critical component in the development of a local Internet ecosystem thus facilitating broader national objectives for growth.

We hope the above provides some clarity on the operations on the IXP and should members of the public require further clarification on the matter, we invite them to contact us at jaixp@our.org.jm.

Elizabeth Bennett

Public Education Specialist

OFFICE OF UTILITIES REGULATION