Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has announced that internet users in the BVI will soon benefit from a faster, more resilient service when the Territory gets its own internet DNS server. The Domain Name System, or DNS, is the phonebook of the internet.
According to TRC, the BVI will be the first British Overseas Territory and one of only a handful of countries in the Caribbean to have a local copy of the critical service. This was made possible after the TRC teamed up with US-based Packet Clearing House (PCH), a non-profit organization to strengthen the Territory's internet infrastructure. The equipment required for service is being donated to the BVI by PCH.
The announcement was made through a press release issued to the media today, September 6.
TRC's Chief Executive Officer, Guy Lester Malone said the development is an important step in the evolution of the internet in the BVI.
"The BVI was the first British Overseas Territory to establish an internet exchange point. Now we are building on that foundation by adding additional equipment and services that will benefit internet users and businesses across the Territory."
Malone was speaking at a special meeting with PCH's representative Bevil Wooding at the TRC's office on Tortola.
According to the release, Wooding, the Caribbean Outreach Manager for PCH, explained that having a root server in-country brings several benefits to local users.
"A domestic internet root server strengthens the overall security and stability of the internet in a country. It also ensures that DNS queries in the country are resolved much faster for local internet users. Local domain name lookups can also continue, even if international connectivity is disrupted", Wooding stated.
Hon. Mark Vanterpool, Minister for Communications and Works stated that development of the Information and Communications Technology Sector is a priority for the BVI.
The Commission stated that the Minister is pleased to see many businesses in the BVI using information technology and he encouraged businesses and individuals to continue to explore and utilize cutting edge information technology that is accessible in the BVI to enhance themselves and stay connected worldwide.
"Whether it is finance, tourism, health, security, software development or education, technology touches every sector. We strongly support and encourage these initiatives. The BVI is serious about taking its place in the digital age," the Minister stated.
Wooding, who supported the Minister's sentiments, said strengthening local internet infrastructure is a necessary and important step to building a strong internet economy.
"Businesses such as content services, data back-up, local streaming media, tele-medicine and mobile apps can be based on and benefit directly from these facilities. E-government initiatives can also receive a boost...Entrepreneurs and innovators have a real opportunity to create and grow internet-based industry in the Virgin Islands and the wider region," Wooding asserted.
Wooding is spearheading an initiative to strengthen internet infrastructure throughout the Caribbean. The initiative is backed by several regional and international organizations in addition to Packet Clearing House, including the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The PCH service will provide the BVI with a copy of a nameserver with records for over 100 country code top-level domain names (such as .kn, .ag, .tt, and .jm) and a technology known as Anycast DNS service.
Currently, there are over 240 root server copies around the world, grouped in thirteen clusters, operated by various organizations such as ICANN, VeriSign, and the U.S. Army. Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean are some of the most underserved regions in terms of distribution of root server copies.