AUC, Postal Affairs to Establish Internet Exchange Point

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The African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MOPT), and the Internet Society are expected to hold a five-day capacity- building seminar for high level engineers towards establishing the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in the country.

The seminar is expected to kick-off today, May 12, and will last up to May 16, 2014 in the conference room of the Ministry on Crown Hill.

IXP is a physical infrastructure through which internet service providers exchange internet traffic between their networks.

The seminar is aimed at creating requisite local technical expertise to support the IXP interconnections and operations, thereby employ hands-on laboratory experience for participants across the sectors.

Those to be trained during the seminar are predominantly engineers who will practice and familiarize themselves with the technology.

Based on that, the African IXP wants to ensure that Africa’s internet traffic is kept local to the continent by providing capacity-building and technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of IXPs in Africa.

As such, countries around the world are establishing their own IXPs, where internet traffic would be routed locally, thereby creating a downward pressure on costs and stimulating growth and distributing them on a content of local basics.

Currently, internet traffic between local users in Liberia like those in many other countries are routed through the West before getting to receivers, in spite of the fact that both senders and receivers live few kilometers apart.

The document stated that based on its leadership in facilitating access to internet information to diverse stakeholders around the world, the Internet Society has been selected to conduct workshops in 30 AU Member States including Liberia.

The workshop follows the IXP best practices capacity-building processes that was held in Liberia early October last year, where stakeholders in the ICT sector agreed to establish an IXP (Liberia).

According to the document, establishing an IXP through Africa was one of the actions that was endorsed by AU members, and it is driven by vision to create a peaceful, integrated, prosperous Africa as a strategy to enable them  take up its rightful place in the global community.

It may be recalled that in recent past, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and other AU leaders at a summit in Addis Ababa took a decision to address some critical infrastructure gap in the telecommunication sector.

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