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Liberia launches new Internet Exchange Point

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The Government of Liberia through The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in collaboration with the Liberia Telecommunication Authority or LTA has launched the newest internet exchange point in the country under the sponsorship of the African Union and other stakeholders.

The launch Thursday, 6 August brought together officials of the Liberia government, specifically officials of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the Liberia Telecommunication Authority, the African Union and other development partners.

The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and Post Master General of Liberia, Dr. Frederick Nokeh, said 2012, the Government Liberia has been working with the African Union, and other sector players to ensure the establishment of a national internet exchange point in the country.

He said the essence of the service is to ensure that internet traffic intended for local use is kept local as well as help to reduce communication cost, and increase speed and other benefits to diverse users.

“Because of this technology internet providers in Liberia will no longer pay transit cost for traffic generated from Liberia or other residents in Europe or in the United States; it will also support content creation such as NGO, academic institutions, corporate entities, government institutions, and other individual users will have access to domain they most need to provide more information about their services and work”, Dr.Nokeh explained.

He however urged all operators to take advantage of the enabling environment and adapt a more innovative and robust approach in enhancing mutual satisfaction in their clientele relationship by taking maximum advantage of Liberia first ICT internet exchange point; adding: “As for today exchanging email and other internet services that even used dot LR domain name intended for local consumption is routed through Europe, America or in other country before terminating to users in Liberia.”

For his part, Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, told the audience that establishing internet exchange point throughout Africa was adopted as critical continental agenda at the summit of African Heads of State held in Ethiopia in early 2012.

VP Boakai said the situation analysis revealed to the various Heads of State that Africa was lagging behind in terms of taking advantage of the internet.

Serving as Chief Launcher at the ceremony, he stressed, “We as policymakers believe that by establishing internet exchange point in Liberia will enable service providers to take advantage of the enormous opportunity IXP provide in creating demands for the local internet users.”

The Vice President noted that Liberia is among the first countries that have taken practical steps in establishing internet exchange points with support from the African Union, saying, “We feel obliged to establish this internet facility in Liberia. Because we have a duty to our citizens and other residents, that duty is to provide all diverse and potential users a state of the art technology that can enhance their business, professional and individual spirits”.

“The process we are undertaking here today is part of the government’s over all commitment to cement the face of Liberians in the comity of nations. We should let this be an opportunity to showcase Liberia, our rich culture and diversity that makes us who we are; I encourage our young people to use this as a window to enhance their learning and broaden their knowledge”, he challenged. By Lewis S. Teh – Editing by Jonathan Browne

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