Tech giants promising bigger plunge for Caribbean Internet

June 4, 2015 7:24 pm

A decent beach experience is mostly a given in the Caribbean but not a decent Internet experience. Progress is coming, according to Google, Netflix and dozens of global content giants who huddled recently at a rare tech summit in Barbados.

“Google wants to bring its content as close as possible to Caribbean audiences,” said Arturo Servin, a Google content specialist for the Caribbean and Latin America.


Bevil Wooding, left, moderates an Internet summit in Barbados with Martin Hannigan of Akamai and Google's Arturo Servin, center. (Via Twitter @bevilwooding)

Last week's Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Forum was organized by the new Caribbean Network Operators Group. The event pulled together high-level Internet players for a first-of-its kind meeting in the Caribbean. The organizers say a priority for the region is building new Internet exchange points that support local, regional, and international service providers.

There are roughly 400 major IXPs globally and nine in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Dominica, Grenada, and Curacao. Barbados launched a local exchange May 18.

Bevil Wooding, a Caribbean strategist for Packet Clearing House, a U.S.-based Internet research group, helped organize the summit and co-founded the Network Operators Group.

“By connecting their servers to a local IXP, content providers can move shorter distances to customers,” Wooding posted. “ISPs connected to the IXP also have a shorter distance to connect [and] in the networking business, shorter is cheaper.”

Google reportedly committed to support IXPs in the Caribbean and has handshake agreements regional IX operators and regulators.

“We are currently exploring options that will allow us to better service Internet service providers and IXPs in small markets like those in the [Caribbean],” Servin said.

» Feature photo: Arturo Servin via Twitter (@bevilwooding)


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