OUR sets the record straight

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

REF­ER­ENCE IS made to the ar­ti­cle pub­lished in The Gleaner of Oc­to­ber 18, 2016 ti­tled 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

Bridge­port High Schoola 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.


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 among these en­ti­ties.

In re­cent times, we have seen a mod­est in­crease in the traf­fic be­ing ex­changed among 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

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