THE establishment of the K200,000 neutral internet exchange point (IXP) facility by the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) will roll out in 2017. This was announced yesterday by director Economic, Consumer and Internal Affairs Kila Gulo-Vui. Mr Vui said the IXP facility will be delivered some time in the first quarter of 2017 as they are still awaiting some equipment for the construction of this facility in Port Moresby.
This facility is a deliberate objective by NICTA and assisted by the Internet Society (ISOC) to establish a neutral IXP in the country on behalf of the ICT industry to be competitive with global internet providers considering PNG’s high cost of internet which is aimed to be cut by 90 per cent next year. Mr Vui said that currently NICTA is undertaking the project with their international partners, however he explained that the facility was supposed to be launched in June this year but it was moved forward to a later date. He said they are now planning to have that facility launched either in the first quarter of 2017 or the early part of the second quarter.
“We will be holding a workshop in January and are inviting all the ISPs and those who will be switching to the IXP to have a refresher course. It is planned that at the end of this workshop in January we will be conducting a trial test on this facility with all the ISPs that will be connecting to that facility,” he said. The facility is planned to be housed at NICTA’s head office in Port Moresby.
Meanwhile chief executive officerCharles Punaha confirmed earlier this year that the main players in the ISP services including Bmobile, Telikom and Digicel have all agreed to come on board with NICTA and that will also contribute towards reducing the costs of internet services. Mr Punaha said Google has also agreed to join NICTA through the Neutral IXP facility, however there are some issues on taxation they are addressing before they join.