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.