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CAR-IX boosts up economy

The Caribbean people are pleased to welcome their own Internet Exchange (CAR-IX). The economy on Curaçao is mostly service oriented. In this digital day and age, service and Internet are strongly connected. The amount of Internet users is growing even as we speak and the Internet traffic has doubled yearly. We cannot imagine our current society without the Internet. The Internet exchange and spread happens through an Internet Exchange (IX).

The Telecom operators in Curaçao, UTS, MIO, Scarlet, Digicel and Telbo in Bonaire have joined forces with Minister Maurice Adriaens of Traffi c and Transport and with the Telecommunication Bureau
and Post for a ‘Public Private Initiative’ to establish the Caribbean Internet Exchange (CAR-IX). Together
they facilitate the process and money needed to found CAR-IX. The CAR-IX becomes an important Internet junction and will contribute to a better ‘Quality of Service’ concerning the Internet and will also save up costs and make the economy grow. A beautiful initiative!

At the start of the Internet Exchange, the local Internet traffi c can be exchanged on Curaçao instead of these expensive international connections in Miami. Directly at the start Bonaire should also be connected and we expect Aruba and Sint-Maarten to follow soon after. The distances become shorter, less expensive, the Internet traffic comes to this: centralization.

The CAR-IX makes Internet traffi c better, faster and more effi cient. Using the AMS-IX partner from the
Netherlands, the Caribbean will build their very own CAR-IX, physically located on Curaçao. The AMS-IX, the biggest Internet junction worldwide with 439 Gb/ s, is 10 years old and thereby an excellent strategic partner. ’The aim is to go live by the end of October and then stabilize for two months. The internationally important Internet organizations Verisign and LACNIC are willing to establish an Internet root server in the CAR-IX’, says Nico Scheper proudly. He has been hired to manage the project and draw together the fi ve parties and the public part. ‘It is quite a job due to the different business interests but also a great challenge. The week of 8 September was very exciting, because at that time we had to capture contractually both the funding and the strategic partnership and all eight parties had to give their consent. That was a moment of truth and I was rather nervous about it’, says Nico Scheper honestly.

The CAR-IX growth will raise the interest of international companies, but also local companies will see opportunities. The attraction of key players in Internetland is essential for further growth in members. The CAR-IX knows an open policy. In addition to the fi ve founding members, everyone can become a
member provided you meet certain criteria.

The purpose is to gather as many members as possible. The equipment, housing and support soon needed by affi liated companies, will give a spinoff to demand of qualifi ed ICT facilities and staff. Besides the Telecom branch, entrepreneurs will see opportunities in the E-zone and E-Commerce sectors. With the advent of CAR-IX and with the cooperation of AMS-IX, LACNIC and Verisign, Curaçao is at once prominently being put on the Internet worldwide map!