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Somalia to set up internet exchange point to enhance digital services

Somalia on Wednesday announced plans to establish the country’s first Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Mogadishu to help enhance digital services across the country.

Abdi Ashur Hassan, the Minister of Post, Telecom and Technology, said establishing the first IXP is a very positive step forward in building Somalia’s ICT infrastructure which will enhance the digital services being offered by local institutions in business, education, health, government services.

“We want this infrastructure to be owned and managed by the stakeholders. I hope you will discuss and come up with the best governance model for MogIX and form an interim committee from the community that will run the facility,” Hassan told participants at a forum in Mogadishu.

He said his ministry and its partner organizations, such as World Bank and Packet Clearing House (PCH) would only help establish the facility, but noted that the government wants the local internet providers to run it in the best interest of both the sector and consumers.

The minister said the IXP will allow local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to connect their networks and exchange Internet traffic locally, providing high-bandwidth and low-latency access.

Nisha Goburdhan, an IXP expert from Packet Clearing House (PCH), said a domestic IXP could serve as a catalyst for developing local content and local Internet applications.

Goburdhan said MogIX would provide an incentive for entrepreneurs and innovators to create local Internet-based services that take advantage of the availability of more local bandwidth.

Representatives from telecom operators, ISPs, academia, content providers, government and Somali Network Operators Group expressed their interest in joining MogIX.