OfReg signs off first IXP licence

| 23/03/2021 | 15 Comments
Cayman News Service
OfReg CEO Malike Cummings (left) and SALT Wireless CEO and Founder Blair Lilford

(CNS): Just eleven days after the utilities regulator, OfReg, revealed it was creating a regulatory framework to pave the way for local internet exchanges, it has issued its first licence. According to a press release from SALT Wireless, part of the SALT Technology group, announced that the company received its IXP licence Friday, 19 March, which the company said would improve internet connectivity through a BGP peering implementation. Blair Lilford, CEO and Founder of SALT Wireless, said the company was excited to bring the technology to the island, adding that it was long overdue.

“In the coming months, the public will experience the benefits of having an IXP and we look forward to seeing how this peering implementation will help provide further opportunities for sustainable economic growth,” Lilford said in a press release.

Currently, ISPs are not exchanging internet traffic with each other on island, so information goes via the United States and back again if two people communicating online here have different providers, even though both people are in Cayman. With an IXP, that information would not need to leave. SALT said this is very common technology that is used throughout the world to provide faster, more secure and cheaper connectivity.

However, it is not clear how users will pay for this service and whether it will lower costs, as OfReg CEO Malike Cummings said recently. Cummings had stated that the presence of IXPs “was likely to reduce local dependence on digital infrastructure and enterprises outside of the jurisdiction, which should generate cost savings for the local internet service provision, resiliency and improved internet performance for customers”.

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Category: Business, ICT

Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why are people not seeing the obvious? This is not a bad thing, its a great thing – should have been here years ago, like the rest of the world! All this means is that we don’t send internet traffic to the US when it is not intended to go there. It really is that simple. Keep local traffic, local! Geez… if people cant see that clogging up the cables unnecessarily to the US for everything makes sense… Of course then it makes sense! An IXP means that a Netflix or an Amazon can put their equipment HERE and we can access it HERE and not got to the US and then be paying for internet usage. It is not complicated. Really am confused how anyone would see this as a bad thing?! Home schooling via Zoom… with this we dont have the traffic going to the US when totally not required and leading to terrible experience…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to the CNS team for putting these two statements in the same paragraph, great illustration of OfReg incompetence:

    …it is not clear how users will pay for this service
    and whether it will lower costs.

    …which should generate cost savings for the local
    internet service provision, resiliency and improved
    internet performance for customers.

    On the one hand, it’s not clear if it will lower costs. On the other hand, it should lower costs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Flow and Digicel could easily connect directly if they wanted to. Perhaps this will motivate them. Don’t expect to notice any speed improvement, and your online gaming still has to go to and from the US.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Was there a competitive bidding process? And why didn’t government have control or even a say in its day to day operation?

    • Pax Vobiscum says:

      Do you even try to seek to understand what you’re talking about before hitting the first key? Is there a bidding process for you to obtain a business licence? This is clearly not a service being offered to the government or the Ofreg office. Some people just want to complain for the sake of it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Interesting, but somewhat confusing as well.

    An Internet Exchange Point (IXP) will allow an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to exchange traffic with another ISP. But I have not seen any press release from OfReg, or anyone else, to say that SALT Technology Group has been granted an ISP license.

    Have all of the licensed ISPs agreed to have SALT host the local IXP and they all pay a share of the costs?

    It doesn’t surprise me that OfReg would grant a license without knowing who they are giving it to or why, but there just seems to be a lot of unanswered questions on this news.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cheaper connectivity – yeah right – won’t hold my breath on that one, or fibre getting out to the more “remote” areas like between Savannah and Bodden Town side roads smh

  6. Anonymous says:

    A couple of servers and a half mile of fiber is all that’s needed. How is this a business? Why does it need Ofreg licensing? Are they going to order the local companies to use these guys? Why is the license not going to a Caymanian company? Where was the public input? So many questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      For it to go to a Caymanian company, a Caymanian company would have to innovate, instal, market , etc etc generally requiring it to make effort and promote the business concept.
      They didn’t….geddit..?

    • Anonymous says:

      US, building for others

  7. Fred says:

    Please tell us how this will speed thing up? Unless you have the servers in cayman what are you sharing. Fake news

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Blair, through spectacularly unbelievable timing, you have managed to obtained for yourself what will turn out to be a monopoly, giving you the great fortune of being able to price so you are justly enriched. Well done, enjoy the billions coming your way.

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