Official launch SUR-IX

From left to right: Mr. Jurgen Schmeltz (Chairman SUR-IX), Mr. Brent Mc Intosh (Consultant ISOC), Mr. Albert Jubithana (Minister of Transport, Communication & Tourism), Ms. Ciefranie Menig (Permanent Secretary of Communications at the Ministry of Transport, Communication & Tourism), Mr. Jai Udit (Secretary SUR-IX), Mr. Shernon Osepa (Director, Caribbean Affairs and Development of ISOC)

Suriname Internet Exchange, abbreviated SUR-IX, is a non-profit association that was founded in October 2019 by the three operational Internet Service Providers in Suriname (Telesur, Digicel and Parbonet) and other stakeholders including Datasur, AdeKUS, CBvS, DNV, E-Gov, KirpalaniKOM and TAS.

The TAS acts as the driving force behind this project because of its neutral position towards the service providers. Together with international organizations, including the ITU, the Internet Society (ISOC) and other organizations that support such initiatives, we are working on setting up the Internet Exchange.  The organizations make experts available or make a donation for the purchase of the hardware. 

What is an Internet Exchange Point (IXP)?

An IXP’s primary goal is to keep local internet traffic as local as possible, so internet traffic does not go beyond our borders. This results in a saving of 20% on the costs for international traffic (source: ITU). 

After the Internet Exchange has become operational, work is done on bringing in content. This is what we “consume” locally e.g.: FB, YouTube, Netflix, etc. If the content is in Suriname, less and less use is made of the international connection. This results in even greater savings than the initial 20%.

This can of course have a positive effect on the end-user costs!

Another advantage of keeping internet traffic local is that it is less vulnerable to cyber-attacks and espionage.

The Internet Exchange is a necessary condition for helping to realize the digital transformation in Suriname.

By implementing an Internet Exchange in Suriname, Suriname contributes to making the internet robust, because even if the international connection fails, e.g. due to the breaking of the submarine cable, the internet in Suriname will not fail.

Status of the project

The technical infrastructure of SUR-IX is housed at Datasur. The members have chosen Datasur because of the available facilities including guaranteed electricity supply and cooling as well as the available security. These are important prerequisites for an Internet Exchange.

The consultants appointed by ISOC as well as the representative of ISOC carried out the final configuration in Suriname last week (7 – 14 Aug) to operationalize SUR-IX. SUR-IX is now a fact because of the BGP traffic that is now exchanged by the Internet Service Providers in Suriname (Telesur, Digicel and Parbonet) and Datasur.

We will continue working on the administrative organization and the business processes in collaboration with the members.

Whitney de Rijp, MBA in Innovation and Technology.
Whitney de Rijp is a young driven Surinamese woman. She has been working at Datasur for over 6 years. Together with her top team, they ensure that customer data is stored securely all over the world which helps them focus on their core business.

Integrity, authenticity and just being herself is the mode for success as a Commercial Affairs Manager. Furthermore, she finds it very important to maximize effectiveness and of course lead by example. For both the internal and the external organization she is very transparent, which also fosters loyalty and engagement with the company goals.

Jurgen Schmeltz has as a Bachelor's degree in Information and Communication Technology and several IT certifications. His IT career started in Johannesburg, South Africa at IBM where he gained international experience for 5 years. When he came back to Suriname, he worked for two IT companies and also gained experience in VOIP, Backup Solutions and Microsoft Products.

At the moment Jurgen is a Cloud and Datacenter Infrastructure Specialist with many years of experience in the field of Microsoft Virtualization, Workplace Automation, Backup, Replication and Data Center Infrastructure. He currently holds the position of Operations Manager and is responsible for managing the Datacenter Operations such as Cloud and Network infrastructure.

Furthermore, he is also responsible for managing daily Facility Operations of the Datasur Datacenters and Project Lead for Cloud and Datacenter expansion projects. In his free time he’s a parttime lecturer at the two technical Universities in Suriname.

On behalf of Datasur Jurgen Schmeltz is also chairman of SUR-IX. The Suriname Internet Exchange Point which will be operational before the end of 2022

Sheetal Ganput works as the General Affairs Manager at Datasur. In this role she is part of the management team and reports to the CEO of Datasur.

She is a very self-driven, detail-oriented & hardworking young professional. She has helped to reorganize the company in the field of Office, HRM and Supply Chain Management.

Sheetal has her B.Sc. in Business Management and also completed her M.Sc. completed in Business Management with a specialization in Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Leadership. She is very progressive and is currently doing her Ph.D. study in Leadership & Management

Our CEO, Dr. Anvit Ramlakhan is a prolific strong inspiring inclusive young professional leader from Suriname, working in different fields to contribute for the betterment of humanity and the world. He is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in the ICT industry for several years, with a widespread of skills in operations, quality, risk, project, business, strategy, product portfolio management (just to name a few). At Datasur Anvit oversees the total company performance on strategical level, with a strong focus on business growth, innovation, customer experience and financial profitability.

Furthermore, Anvit contributes to development of the Surinamese youth by lecturing and tutoring at four university study organizations in Suriname on undergraduate and postgraduate levels within study fields such as ICT, Electrical engineering, Organization management, Process management, Business intelligence, MBA, etc.

He has a strong professional background with a cum laude doctorate (Ph.D. in Management- Information and Technology) from the Akamai University in USA, Master of Science (M.Sc.) with merit in Information Systems from Anglia Ruskin University in London, UK and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Telecommunications from Anton de Kom University in Paramaribo, Suriname. He currently is finishing up his MBA in Strategic Management and Leadership at the London School of International Business, London, UK.

Anvit has several prolific leadership and business certifications, ongoing humanity service, extensive spiritual drive and a personal theme which is as follows: “Continuous progressive successful excellence”. He is part of volunteer organization HSS for 20+ years, through which character molding, collaboration and way of living for the youth is created and augmented.

In January 2022 he has been elected for two years as Chairman of the ICT Association in Suriname, in order to help strategize the sustainable digital economic development of Suriname. Furthermore he also has been elected as Chairman for the Suriname Business Youth Association in June 2021 for a period of two years, whereby development and support of young entrepreneurs and professionals is one of the main goals. Anvit is also part of the presidential working groups on areas of e-Government and wage council.