The launching of IXP paves way for Telemedicine in Namibia
The Namibia Internet Exchange Point (IXP) has been officially launched and is expected to result in more secure, affordable and faster internet services in the country. The government received support for the launch from the African Union Commission under the African Internet Exchange Point System Programme, New Era reported. The IXP connects internet service providers to enable them to exchange local internet traffic between local networks and to interconnect directly in order to offer network improvement and better quality of services.
According to the Deputy ICT minister, Stanley Simataa, services such as video and audio streaming, video conferencing, online transactions, e-governance, e-learning and telemedicine will now be easier to access. With this development, the ICT sector in Namibia has every reason to celebrate because a new era of localised, cost-effective and secure internet traffic has dawned.
Namibia, like many other African countries, has been paying overseas data carriers to exchange local and continental internet traffic. Because of this, internet connectivity and services provided to the public are currently very costly. In addition, this scenario is considered by many to be both insecure and inefficient in handling inter-country exchange of internet traffic.
The presence of a domestic IXP enhances a country's ability to build a robust domestic internet eco-system and economy. The chairperson of the IXP Association of Namibia, Schalk Erasmus, said that six out of twelve ISPs have already connected to the new IXP, and four of these are already active on the exchange point. Erasmus said that so far, NAD 250,000 has been spent on establishing the local IXP but he said more funds would be necessary as it expands.