Strengthening efficient Internet traffic management through a subregional Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Pacific Island Countries
The establishment of IXPs can have positive impacts on affordability, latency and traffic capacity. Yet, in the Pacific, few countries have established IXPs. Papua New Guinea recently established an IXP in 2017 with assistance from Internet Society, APNIC and other partners which at the time was estimated to result in a 10% decrease of prices of Internet services. Fiji also established a national IXP in 2017 and reported that latency between local operators has improved significantly from 60ms to 2ms after its deployment. The majority of other Pacific island countries do not have IXPs. Out of 12 Pacific island countries with data available on broadband affordability in 2017 (monthly expenditure on broadband service as a % of GNI/capita), only three are considered affordable (New Zealand, Australia and Nauru) for mobile-broadband services, while only two (Australia and New Zealand) are considered affordable for fixed-broadband services.
Taking these into consideration, Vanuatu requested the support of ESCAP and other international organizations on exploring the feasibility of establishing a regional IXP in the Pacific during a Pacific AP-IS sub-regional meeting in November 2018. In response, through the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) initiative Pillar 2 ‘Internet Traffic & Network Management’, ESCAP and the Internet Society (ISOC), in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), the University of the South Pacific (USP) as Chair of the Pacific CROP ICT Taskforce, and the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) initiated a feasibility study on the possible deployment of a regional IXP in the Pacific. Following the completion of the feasibility study, a workshop for government officials is proposed to raise awareness of the benefits and build capacity in its proposed implementation.