The first IXP in the country started operations in November of 2019. Internet exchange points (IXP) are part of the physical infrastructure (much as switches) that allow Internet providers to exchange traffic more efficiently and less expensively.
As Luis Furlán explains, up to now, there were no conections (or very few had it) between internet providers in the country: “for example, if you live in Guatemala City and want to send a message to a friend in Quetzaltenango; the fastest and most efficient is to take the shortest route between the two cities; but if both have a different internet service provider, it is very likely that the route is from Guatemala to the United States (or another country) and returns to Quetzaltenango. In other words, an IXP is responsible for organizing or distributing local data traffic, without having to leave the country.“
The implementation of this IXP opens the possibility that the network service in the country will be more accessible and economical. If the “sender” and the “recipient” are in the same country. It avoids having to send that information to exchange points abroad and then return to the national territory.
IXP an effort of many years and several organizations
This initiative by the Internet Society, allows local Internet service providers (ISPs), telecommunications companies or cooperatives and state agencies to exchange Internet traffic locally, improving service efficiency by reducing the time of “travel” and optimizing costs.
Bringing the first IXP to the country was not an easy task, it required the collaboration of many people and institutions to achieve it. “The Internet Society donated the equipment to the country through RAGIE,” says Furlán
The IXP is located in KIO Networks. Internet service providers are being sought to connect. At the moment the following have connected: Bluenet, Optel and Cable and Wireless.
UVG is already connected to the new IXP
Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, a pioneer in science and technology, is already connected to the IXP because it constitutes a key part of the Internet ecosystem. This project represents a fundamental way to strengthen connectivity and the local Internet industry, improve competitiveness and serve as a center for technical activity.
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