On March 3, 2015 the Internet Service Providers (ISP) and the Internet Society Liberia Chapter (ISOC) signed an Article of Incorporation and Peering Agreement for the establishment of Liberia Internet Exchange Point Association (LIXPA). (See attachment)
Engineers from all GSM companies and Cable Consortium of Liberia (CCL) were designated to work immediately and prepare for the IXP Hosting at CCL. These engineers worked to understand Space requirement, size of rack, wiring, Backhauling, Minimum router spec and configuration. An IP address was attained from AFRINIC to host clients on the IXP.
The Liberia internet Exchange Points was officially launched on August 6, 2015 with the Vice President of Liberia serving as key note speaker. The program was graced by CEOs and DCEOs of GSM companies, Senators and Representatives committees on Telecommunications, Ministers of Post and Telecommunications and the Board of Commissioners of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority.
Since the Launching of the IXP, LIXPA have attracted other ISPs in and out of Liberia. By June 2018, search giant GOOGLE cached at the Liberia Internet Exchange Point. Some smaller ISP’s have also been attracted to LIXPA.
All peering parties and ISOC- Liberia Chapter have signed a comprehensive By-law and Constitution to help with the management of LIXPA. (See attachment)
Major objectives of LIXPA are:
Ø The proper management of LIXPA through coordination and cooperation from all stakeholders in telecommunications sector of Liberia.
Ø Raise additional revenues while simultaneously speeding local data exchange, and most importantly;
Ø Encouraging the development of locally hosted content and services.
o Locally hosted content and services cannot be developed in the absence of Liberia Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) (lr.).
o Acquiring .lr domain name is a serious challenge which most local enterprises are not prepare to undergo thereby swaying to generic Domain Names. (.com, .net , .org)
Major challenges facing LIXP are:
Ø Getting peering parties to commit to resolving liabilities for the viability and sustainability of the IXP.
Ø Getting peering parties key decision makers to attend meetings that would strengthen the management of the IXP.
Ø Getting peering parties to agree to procure needed equipment for the betterment of the IXP. Ex. Stats Server for tracking user usage, and genuine Bandwidth Management tool which gives opportunity to monitor the peering switch traffic.
Ø Content currently on the IXP is low or no existent.
Ø Carrying out awareness on the importance of the IXP; there are limited or no awareness of an IXP in Liberia
Ø Involve more key stakeholders
Ø LIXP should have full time management staff (skeleton staff)
Ø Regulator (LTA) should play more active role than monitoring to help enforcement the governance of the IXP.
LTA, the Regulatory Authority has been playing de-facto management role in the absence of a governance structure regarding LIXPA. With the By-law and Constitution which defines the management structure in place, the transitional plan is to transfer management responsibility to an interim management team.
The task of the interim team is to facilitate election among LIXPA among members. This exercise is expected to take place in the next four (4) months. Following that, LTA will be playing only advisory role.
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