- A Study on national costings of a Pacific Internet Exchange Point
While Pacific island countries have improved access to Internet bandwidth in the last decade as a result of several submarine fiber-optic cables connecting many island countries, efficiency management of Internet traffic at the national or subregional levels are lacking behind. The weighted average latency of Pacific island countries without a subregional Internet exchange point to New Zealand was 44.21 milliseconds. However, if Internet exchange points in Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand were connected to coordinate the traffic using the shortest route, it could drastically reduce average latency by up to 64 per cent, from 44.42 milliseconds to 15.99 milliseconds. For some Pacific island countries, this reduction could be a major Internet quality improvement considering their national latencies are beyond 100 milliseconds.
In recent years, ESCAP and partners have facilitated multistakeholder consultations, training workshops, and conducted technical studies that informed Pacific island countries discussions on establishing a Pacific Internet Exchange Point (IXP). In 2021, these discussions focused on the three target countries of Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand with different stakeholders involved including governments, national Internet exchange authorities, regulators, and Internet service providers.
This working paper contribute three key findings to the current dialogue on establishing a Pacific IXP. First, Fiji and New Zealand can facilitate the Pacific IXP segment with its current infrastructure and personnel, with the exception of Samoa, which is still working on the deployment of its domestic IXP. However, once deployed, the operation will assist the Pacific IXP segment to be established in Samoa. Second, establishing the Pacific IXP as a Not-for-Profit society would have a natural alignment with both the Fiji-IX and NZ-IX, and with the Samoa National IX once established. Lastly, it provided estimated national costs based on consultations with national stakeholders on the establishment costs in each of the three target countries.