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Twice the price -Telecom firms making life harder

It is actually not true to say the internet is up and running in the BVI; it is not up and running – Bevil Wooding

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Journalist

Telecommunication providers in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have refused to use interconnection arrangements in the territory that could make internet cheaper and faster for their customers, said Internet Strategist and Advisor to the Caribbean Telecommunications Union Bevil Wooding.

He said the technology that facilitates cheaper and faster internet speeds is called an Internet Exchange Point (IXP).

It was first set up in the BVI some six years ago.

Effectively, the IXP allows networks to interconnect and exchange information without first having to go through one or more third-party networks in other jurisdictions.

“That means anybody running services that are connected to the exchange point can access those services at a cost that is significantly lower than the very expensive international transit cables that you used to connect in New York, Miami, Paris, and London – which is exactly what is happening now. Most of the traffic goes outside of the territory,” said Wooding, who has helped to set up and monitor IXP in the BVI over the years.

Ahead of the launch of an upgraded version of the IXP technology locally, telecom providers are being told to connect, stay connected, and stop depriving customers of better internet services.

“They (Flow, CCT, and Digicel) stopped pairing [to the IXP]. So it is actually not true to say the internet is up and running in the BVI. It is not up and running. Pairing is what you call the connections that take place at the exchange point – these no-cost connections,” Wooding explained.

“When I say they stopping pairing, it means that, instead of sending the traffic to the exchange point [in the BVI], they continue to send it back up to Miami.”

That results in local customers being charged double to use the internet, Wooding said.

“You are paying twice. You’re going to send it out to be exchanged in Miami or some other place only to be brought back in to be consumed by a user. That is the issue that the local IXP is designed to solve… By launching a local exchange point in the BVI, you are giving local [internet] traffic a local option for being exchanged to get to a local consumer. So any application – whether it’s government services, whether it’s media, whether it’s somebody running security cameras that track the movement of families or personal possessions, or it’s the security services trying to keep control over the borders and over secured facilities – those things don’t need to go outside to come back in,” added Wooding.

He further stated that local telecommunication providers should get on board, especially with the impending upgrade to the IXP in the territory.

“We are saying enough is enough. It is time for better, faster, cheaper, local internet. The citizens deserve it; the internet users deserve it,” Wooding further said.

During a press conference last week, he stated that the locally based IXP is being upgraded with – among other things – better equipment.

“The bottom line for all of these changes is that the internet exchange point is going to get a lot closer to its promise of providing faster and lower cost traffic exchange… Now they’re in the process of configuring the new equipment and configuring the new services around the inter-exchange point. So, stuff has been moving and you can look forward to another announcement – we are hoping – within the next several weeks about the re-launch of what we call in the BVI, X2,” Wooding said.

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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17 Comments

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  1. Just Wrong says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

    Am I understand this IXP thing has been available in the BVI for six years, but no one is using it? Is this possible?

  2. Time says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

    Well said sir. For years business and individyals have complained but no major improvement. Enough is enough.

  3. Want2Kno says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    Where’s the Consumer Protection Agency that’s so badly needed in this country? What are our “Leaders” really doing to lead us?

    The service we are experiences stinks to high heavens!!

    • Just Wrong says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

      Where’s the TRC ?

      • Not2Sure says:

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

        Exactly. This young man seems to know, and if it has been the case since 2011 it is not exactly a secret. But TRC, who are supposed to be protecting the public, either don’t know, don’t care or don’t want to do anything about it. Probably all three.

  4. truth says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    I want to be excited about this but time and time again all we get is TALK TALK TALK… It’s time for REAL ACTION

  5. Wai Too Young says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    the bvi at its finest

  6. ndp heckler says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Most of the politicians on government side are big share-holders

  7. I FROM HERE says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    This is why nobody in our family walking close to any Digicel Office! Set of greed b*tches!

  8. Sheep face says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Well consumers should take action by by-cutting until they do good by us. TRC should be implementing this but i guess we need to know who the shareholders are

  9. BlackWatch says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    The utter selfishness of these company’s and the impotence, or, more likely, complicity of VIP and NDP governments in the face of it, are absolutely sickening.

  10. ITMan says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    I’m definitely feeling you on this. However,all internet traffic is not the same and the only traffic that will benefit from this IPX switch will be on island or BVI islands traffic(inland).

    This would mean viewing cameras at your property from somewhere else on island or accessing your computers etc. The vast majority of internet traffic however is outside of this IPX box that includes streaming netflix,iptv,youtube,checking emails and browsing websites.

    So,yes the IPX is a step in the right direction for lowering our external traffic for accessing things that really doesn’t need to go out then come back in but how much of that traffic are we actually using.

    I agree the ISP companies need to get on board but then there’s the question as to who maintains it and ensures it’s being utilized properly and dealing with all ISP companies here they will definitely make that an issue.

    I hope they can come together and look beyond profit and consider efficiency and affordability for the public. We deserve to have as much affordability as we can get after years of high prices and poor service.

  11. Noticing says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Everyone deserves a retroactive refund for all these years.

  12. Wes says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    “Twice the price and one tenth of the performance of the rest of the region” This should be all of their taglines.

    Our local telecoms are in urgent need of some viagra of sorts.

    All the expectation but sadly the performance leaves us all dissapointed

  13. something more to this says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    highway robbery…why don’t we all come together and file a suite against all the carriers…we need to start showing these companies that the BVI public is serious and we won’t stand for their crappy service and taking advantage of us the public.

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