At the end of the two-day forum of the Caribbean Network Operators Group, the St. Kitts and Nevis Internet Exchange Point (SKNIX) was launched yesterday.
The primary purpose of an IXP is to allow different local networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than going through one or more third-party networks. The primary advantages of direct interconnection are cost, latency, and bandwidth.
Traffic passing through an exchange is typically not billed by any party, whereas traffic to an ISP’s upstream provider is.
The direct interconnection, often located in the same city as both networks, avoids the need for data to travel to other cities—and potentially on other continents—to get from one network to another, thus eliminating delays in transmission of data.
The third advantage, speed, is most noticeable in areas that have poorly developed long-distance connections. ISPs in regions with poor connections might have to pay between 10 or 100 times more for data transport than ISPs in North America, Europe, or Japan.
However, a connection to a local IXP may allow them to transfer data without limit, and without cost, vastly improving the bandwidth between customers of such adjacent Internet Service Providers.
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis hosted the regional Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort from September 11 to 12 to promote the development of the region’s digital infrastructure.
Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Konris Maynard, during his remarks at the opening ceremony, said that the date coincided with the nation’s 40th Anniversary of Independence of the St. Kitts and Nevis Federation.
He also explained that the Federation’s goal aligns perfectly with CaribNOG’s theme of ‘Achieving Digital Independence’ and stated that digital independence is not just a technical feat, but an evolution of the national identity of St. Kitts and Nevis.