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BDT ITU Kick-off Meeting: Montenegro - Towards National Internet Exchange Point: Challenges and Opportunities, 1 October 2014, Budva, Montenegro

OVERVIEW

Kick-off Meeting Towards National Internet Exchange Point: Challenges and Opportunities, was organized by the Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications and the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services of Montenegro in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union and Internet Society.

The objective of the event was to set the scene for the establishment of the national IXP in Montenegro, as well as to present the collaborative efforts of ITU with other international actors towards development of information society in the Europe region.

This event was held in Budva, Montenegro, on 1 October 2014, during the 21st International Festival of ICT INFOFEST in Montenegro, at the Hotel and Resort Maestral.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications of Montenegro began the Kick-off Meeting with presentation and later proceed to a workshop, while the closed meeting between the Ministry and Regulator from Montenegro, and ISOC and ITU, took place after the official closure of the workshop where the future steps of cooperation were discussed and set forwards.

Participation

There were around 50 participants attending the event. Notwithstanding the numbers that attended, the caliber of these participants and their contributions were of the high level.  Panelists were drawn from almost all regions (national IXPs of Serbia, Czech Republic, Ireland), representing academia (IT Center of the University of Montenegro), private sector (national providers), training institutions and ICT organizations (RIPE, ISOC).

Agenda Overview

​The event comprised of nine segments that were organized in the form of a panel discussion and presentations. After the presentations were made the floor was open for questions and answers from participants.

The Workshop opening segment, with Mr. Darko Grgurović, Deputy Director, Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services, Montenegro, as the Master of Ceremony, brought to the audience the overview addressed by Ms. Ratka Strugar, General Director of directorate of Electronic Communications, Postal service and Radio-spectrum, Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications, Montenegro, who pointed out the overall need for IXP in Montenegro and the efforts of Ministry in working together with ITU towards best solution and modality for establishing the IXP in Montenegro, while Mr. Branko Kovijanić, Member of the Council, Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services, Montenegro, spoke on behalf of EKIP and briefly introduced the Agency's study on IXP in Montenegro that lead them to the University of Montenegro and their experts who were hired to produce the Feasibility Study for Establishment of IXP in Montenegro.

Mr. Vladimir Stanković, on behalf of the Europe Coordination, and the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union has presented in the opening segment BDT and ITU's global activities on IXPs, presenting best practices, challenges and opportunities towards establishment of national IXP, while addressing the excellent cooperation with national administrations, including Montenegro, and international players, including Internet Society. Ms. Jane Coffin, Director, Development Strategy, Internet Society ISOC, introduced the background of ISOC's involvement in this activity and spoke about its technical side while presenting their experience in Europe and other regions in the world.

Prof. Božo Krstajić, PhD, Director of Information Technology Centre, University of Montenegro, set the stage of the workshop with the Feasibility Study on the Establishment of Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Montenegro , done by the University of Montenegro. This has given an appropriate introduction to the following panel on IXP Best Practices with Moderator: Ms. Jane Coffin, Director, Development Strategy, Internet Society, Mr. Zoran Perović, CEO, SOX - Serbian Internet Exchange Point, Mr. Barry O'Donovan, Network Consultant, INEX - Ireland Internet Exchange Point, and Mr. Adam Golecky, NIX.CZ – Czech Republic Internet Exchange Point, as the panelists. We have heard most useful experience from the neighboring country, with similar socio-economic environment, a Central European experience, and the more advanced IXP from Europe. Paths that the three mentioned IXPs have taken, ran by the academia, non-profit entities, and commercial private companies, starting on volunteer basis to fully employed staff, challenges and achievements done, were all very well presented by this panel and the audience was eager to discuss more – thus the panel was continued in the afternoon part of the Workshop.

Mr. Adam Golecky, NIX.CZ – Czech Republic Internet Exchange Point, was asked to present on behalf of EURO-IX an overview of this association, while Mr. Marco Hogewoning, External Relations Officer - Technical Advisor RIPE-NCC, addressed the meeting with RIPE-NCC Services, and IXP in IPv6 environment. Both presentations were useful for the future IXP in Montenegro and their possible networking activities with EURO-IX and RIPE as their natural partners. Mr. Barry O'Donovan, Network Consultant, INEX, followed with the presentation on the IXP Manager, open source software for IXP management, designed by Ireland IXP and spoke of the need for different management software acquired by national IXPs. This software was an example of the best practices in measuring the internet traffic statistics.

Finally, before the closing segment, a panel moderated by Mr. Pavle Mijušković, Manager for Internet and IP Based Services, EKIP, heard voiced of the local internet community. Panelists came from all sectors: government (NRA), academia (University of Montenegro), and private sector (MTEL telecom provider in Montenegro) and raised very important directions for the Ministry and the Regulator to keep in mind while deciding on the modality for IXP in Montenegro.

The closing remarks were made by Mr. Vladimir Stanković, Europe Coordination, Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunication Union, reassuring the event and the ITU Membership, of ITU's commitment to accompanying their needs in available capacity (expertise on regulation, technical assistance, human capacity building), including the establishment of IXP in Montenegro. Ms. Ratka Strugar, General Director of directorate of Electronic Communications, Postal service and Radio-spectrum, Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications, Montenegro, has closed the meeting thanking ITU for organizing the event together with ISOC, and welcoming all participants to follow the process of establishment of IXP in Montenegro.

Kick-off meeting: starting point towards IXP establishment in Montenegro

Upon request for support in establishing the national IXP in Montenegro by the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Society of Montenegro, ITU has worked together with the Internet Society (ISOC) to organize a workshop during the INFOFEST 2014 that would be the starting point towards establishment of IXP in Montenegro.

Based on a study done by the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services of Montenegro, the Information Technologies Center of the University of Montenegro has produced a Feasibility Study on Establishment of IXP in Montenegro.

The IT Center of the University of Montenegro played an important role in this activity since they will be the ones who will take the lead and run the IXP in Montenegro. This academic institution made a major contribution to the development of the Feasibility Study on Establishment of IXP in Montenegro, and thus hold the capacity to fully grasp the scope and framework for the functioning of the future IXP in Podgorica, Montenegro. Furthermore, IT Center of the University of Montenegro will be the physical place of the future IXP and will play the major role in its rollout and operations.

 

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