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Penn calls for Internet Exchange Point to manage heavier online traffic from COVID-19 response

Marlon Penn

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has said he believes the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) and local internet service providers should find common ground to establish the long-discussed Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in the British Virgin Islands.

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

Penn said an IXP is needed to manage the internet traffic that will arise from local social distancing protocols and school closures that government has now implemented in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat. 

“The reality is that an IXP; what it gives is flexibility to navigate traffic locally. So normally when you go to the internet you have to go to Miami all the way up to California and then come back. But with the IXP, that traffic can be routed locally,” Penn explained.

“This will better facilitate virtual meeting, virtual learning environments for teachers and students, and will facilitate better access to government services online,” he added.

Premier needs to put pressure on TRC and ISP

The Opposition Leader also called on Premier Andrew Fahie to put pressure on the two entities to get the IXP up and running in the territory.

He said: “I think the challenge that we’re faced with the IXP are things that are non-insurmountable, they are things that we could get done quickly and I think the Premier needs to put pressure on the TRC and the telecom providers to ensure that infrastructure is in place to facilitate persons working from homes.”

Faster broadband speeds also needed

Penn further made fresh calls for faster internet speeds and increasing internet coverage; this time to better facilitate persons working remotely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The TRC and the telecom providers need to work towards beefing up existing broadband speeds, and availability of service to facilitate the shift that will occur with the population working at home,” Penn said.

New TRC Board established to get the job done

Premier Fahie had made a public declaration in the House of Assembly recently that the newly-installed TRC Board was hired to solve the problems of poor internet service and the associated high bills that have plagued the territory for a number of years.

He instructed the Board to call on government for all things necessary to get the issue fixed in the BVI.

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  1. Wishful Thinking says:

    Good luck with the TRC getting the ISP done. The CTO in there, formerly known as a Cable & Wireless salesman, is clueless about getting it up and running. It’s been sitting dormant waiting till The Resurrection or the 2nd coming.

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  2. Ivisitsometimes says:

    An IXP is an awesome idea. Needs to be implemented as soon as possible. The internet speeds in the territory are absolutely atrocious for no reason. Why reroute and waste time when you can condense the process and do everything locally. It saves time, money and aggravation in the end.

    • @Ivisitsometimes says:

      Yes it’s an excellent idea that’s been proposed and submitted for quite a few years now. Unfortunately it’s in the hands of a TRC where things that will help the public go to die.

  3. non sense says:

    there was an IXP here before and it was never utilized as always wrong people in these positions you need young and knowledgeable people who knows the systems and markets i can name a couple like Mikey Farra , Billy Lettsome, Claudius Rymer, Khamal Anthony, Akimo Percival, Kyle From CCT ive worked with all these young gentlemen and they know how to get things done stop overshadowing these young minds and have a meeting with them and let them show the BVI.

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