Promoting IXPs to Strengthen the Internet in the Region

30/06/2021

LACNIC, in agreement with the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Exchange Point Operators Association (LAC-IX) and the Internet Society, supports IXPs that are at the development stage in organizations or countries within the region.

Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) play a fundamental role in the Internet infrastructure by providing resilience to the network and improving performance in terms of both access speed and latency. This is a collaborative model where different access and content provision networks exchange their traffic at a local or regional level.

Last year, the alliance between LACNIC, LAC-IX and the Internet Society supported IXP.GT of Guatemala, IX-DO of the Dominican Republic and IXSY of Yucatan, Mexico, by providing a server in each case to host services related to the improvement of routing security and stability.

“These servers will help deploy RPKI validators to improve BGP routing security, route-servers and systems such as the IXP Manager platform so as to facilitate IXP routing management and BGP collectors to have information on local interconnection, among other services,” said Guillermo Cicileo, Head of Internet Infrastructure Research and Development at LACNIC.

Interconnection work, traffic exchange and IXPs improve local connectivity in developed regions and promote interaction with very important local communities. The IXP program helps develop Internet technical communities and network operators in our region.

These IXPs are growing rapidly and have adopted an infrastructure in line with best practices for the proper functioning of IXPs.

Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS), are also promoted, as IXPs are becoming a benchmark for the local community. This makes it easier to reach operators in order to implement the required configurations to reduce the most common threats to the routing system.

As part of this effort, LAC-IX, the Internet Society and LACNIC are working together to promote the implementation of MANRS actions for the region’s Internet exchange points through webinars and training courses. In addition, LACNIC has promoted a training plan made up of a series of four two-hour modules for the aforementioned IXPs, covering the use of BGP at IXPs, RPKI at IXPs, DNS at IXPs and IPv6 at IXPs.

According to Gabriel Adonaylo, Coordinator of LAC-IX, “The space for cooperation among Internet organizations in the region is fundamental to strengthen IXPs. Thus, our partners are able to achieve very good levels in the development of their infrastructure and services while minimizing implementation times”.

“We are proud to collaborate with LACNIC and LAC-IX to strengthen the capacity of IXPs in the LAC region,” said Israel Rosas, Senior Regional Development Manager at the Internet Society. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to confirm that the Internet is a lifesaver. IXPs have been a key part in strengthening the Internet’s infrastructure and increasing its resilience; while at the same time, they are a strong indicator of the power of the community to address challenges of different kinds.”