ISOC Kyrgyzstan Chapter launches internet exchange point in Osh

Bishkek, Apr. 22, 2019. /Kabar/. The Internet Society (ISOC) Kyrgyzstan Chapter launched internet exchange point in Osh city aimed to improve connectivity in the most densely populated region – Ferghana Valley, ISOC reported.

Internet connectivity in Kyrgyzstan significantly progressed over the last few years, but had distributed unevenly. While, most of northern provinces reaping benefits of high speed mobile and broadband Internet, southern regions are still suffering from expensive Internet tariff plans and connectivity time lags. Ferghana Valley Internet Exchange Point is providing critical infrastructure for internet service providers and mobile operators to prevail regional digital gap and help underserved communities to obtain affordable Internet access.

Ferghana Valley located at the crossroads of three countries of Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are in top 10 regions with highest population density in the world. Over 14 million people (2014) reside in 22,000 square kilometers (approximately 636 persons per square km). The region is known for land and water disputes, inter-ethnic conflicts. There is a huge income disparity between administrative capitals of the Stans and regional dwelling communities in Ferghana Valley.

“Establishing IXP would greatly enhance the utility and value of the regional Internet and promote the growth of the digital economy”, said Talant Sultanov, Chair of ISOC Kyrgyzstan Chapter. According to Terabit Consulting, “Improvement in ICT infrastructure yields: Increased demand for the output of other industries (demand multiplier), New opportunities for production in other industries (supply multiplier), new goods and services for consumers (final demand). It also increases firms’ innovation capabilities and increases the probability of new products, innovations, and organizations.”

Internet Exchange Point is a physical location where different stakeholders who have ASN meet to exchange local traffic via a switch. Kyrgyzstan is one of the countries where Ferghana Valley is spread. There are several closed IXPs based in Bishkek (ISP, banks). Unlike present IXPs that could not be neutral and open for new members by Charter, Ferghana Valley IXP (FVIXP) follows principles of openness and neutrality by providing equal access to infrastructure to all stakeholders, including Government agencies, educational and healthcare institutions as well as commercial banks. IXP will help local small and medium ISP to minimize traffic costs, spend more on infrastructure rather than on internet traffic purchase.

Over the last two years, ISOC Kyrgyz Chapter had been working closely with local stakeholders and community members to set up first of its kind peering hub in Osh city. Together with European Chapter of ISOC, local members conducted roundtables as well as trainings to help raise awareness about role of IXP and provide skills to administer it. Chapter members had been preparing physical infrastructure and regulations to make this project operational.

“We believe, that FVIXP will help local small and medium-sized Internet Service Provider reduce traffic costs, improve quality of connectivity and increase subscription base due to more affordable tariff plans”, said Aziz Soltobaev, project manager of FVIXP and ISOC Kyrgyzstan Chapter cofounder.

The Internet Society (ISOC) is an international organization dedicated to the development and accessibility of the Internet. The organization has more than 20 thousand specialists and more than 100 member organizations in 180 countries. The Internet Society provides assistance in the organization for a variety of other consulting and research groups involved in the development of the Internet, including the IETF and the IAB.

ISOC Kyrgyzstan Chapter is non-profit organization founded in April 2015 and officially registered on July 7, 2017. ISOC Kyrgyzstan Chapter obtain required licenses and permits for providing data transmission and peering services.